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Structural/Foundation Piering

The impact system is designed to reinforce good to poor soils, including loose sand, soft silt and clay, mixed soil layers, uncontrolled fill, contaminated soils and soils below the groundwater table by using a patented displacement mandrel. The displacement process allows for installation with no spoils and eliminates the need for casing. Its performance and cost-effective qualities make it the ideal solution for soils that are subject to caving. Aggregate Rammed Piers- Impact system, can be used for multiple soil types and groundwater conditions.

  • Amplify weight-bearing abilitiesVibro-piers are an excellent solution for soil and foundations that are uneven, unpredictable, or made up of layers of varying material.
  • Minimize settlementAs each pier is driven into the soil, loose granular particles are compressed, creating a more sound and compact foundation on which to build.
  • Deter liquefactionAs non-liquefiable structures in potentially liquefiable foundations, VSCs are extremely effective in mitigating potential damage from water pressure, seismic movement, and general stress.

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Uses for Aggregate Piers

  • Strengthening foundationsRammed Aggregate Piers are a simple way to dramatically increase the strength and bearing pressure of foundations so that they can meet the requirements of their project.
  • Wall and embankment stabilizationAggregate piers are often used in soft, poor- or mixed-soil environments to provide stabilization for large walls and embankments. The stress of the pillars being vibrated into the earth compacts the soil, making the ground stronger, increasing its weight-bearing capacity, and overall safety.
  • Agricultural, municipal, and manufacturing supportVSCs provide a solid, compressed foundation on which to build structures with heavy equipment and machinery.

Steel Bar Push Piers

Commonly referred to as push piers, jacked piles, resistance piers, or hydraulically driven piers, these systems developed from a growing need to address structure settlement problems.

Push Pier Systems utilize high-strength round steel tube sections and a load transfer bracket to stabilize and/or lift sinking or settling foundations. The foundation bracket is secured against the existing footing and pier sections are driven hydraulically through the foundation bracket and into the soil below using the combined structural weight and any contributory soil load as resistance. Pier sections are continuously driven until a suitable load bearing is encountered.

At that point, the structure either begins to lift or the target pressure/load is achieved. The weight of the structure is then transferred from the unstable soil, to the foundation brackets, through the piers, and to firm load bearing soil or bedrock.

Push Pier systems develop a factor of safety against pier settlement by the pier installation methods used and the sequence with which multiple piers are driven and then re-loaded. Piers are first driven individually using the maximum weight of the structure and any contributory soil load.

Push Pier System Advantages:

  • End bearing pier that does not rely on skin friction for capacity
  • Portable equipment allows for installation in areas of limited access
  • Piers are individually load-tested during installation
  • System design allows for lifting of settled structures
  • Factors of safety typically range from 1.5 to 3
  • Galvanized pier sections for added corrosion protection

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Helical Piles

Helical piles are a factory-manufactured steel foundation system consisting of a central shaft with one or more helix-shaped bearing plates and a bracket that allows attachment to a structure or slab.  The helix plates are commonly referred to as blades and are welded to the lead section.

Extension shafts, with or without additional helix plates, are used to extend the pile to competent load bearing soil and to achieve design depth and capacity.  Brackets are used at the tops of the piles for attachment to structures, either for new construction or retrofit applications.  Helical piles are advanced (screwed) into the ground with the application of torque.

Helical piles are used in both tension and compression load applications. The ability to utilize helical pile foundations in both compression and tension applications makes the manufactured foundation system an attractive alternative for deep foundation construction.

Quick to install. Built-in advantages.

Helical piles/piers have the built-in advantage of rapid installation with small equipment, immediate loading capabilities and cost efficiency when compared with traditional foundation methods. Helical piles also feature built-in quality control through real-time tracking of the torque-to-capacity ratio during installation

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Micropiles have a wide range of uses and are becoming a more mainstream method of supporting foundations, seismic retrofits, stabilization of slopes and even earth retention. Micropiles are commonly referred to as “mini piles” because of their elements which are constructed of high-quality, durable small diameter steel casings or threaded bar and are used when installing a deep foundation.

This option is one of the most practical and cost-efficient solutions and offers easy installation. The process consists of drilling a borehole, often using casing, then placing steel reinforcement and grouting the hole. After the structure settles, a support system is applied to the top of the pile distributing the weight evenly and guaranteeing good contact with the foundation.


  • Creates a pile with a relatively high axial load capacity
  • Works in compression and tension
  • Lightweight rotary percussive equipment can be used
  • No harmful vibrations or noise to surrounding structures
  • Minimal spoil generation on contaminated sites


  • Structural support of directly loaded piles
  • New foundations
  • Seismic retrofitting
  • Reinforcement for slope stabilization and settlement reduction
  • Support of excavation – Soldier Piles
  • Permanent retaining walls

Micropiles are commonly designed in small clusters or groups with each typically carrying an equal amount of load. They may be designed with a batter to improve the lateral rigidity of the group. They can be designed to resist a combination of compression, tension and lateral forces.

Micropiles are ideal for rocky areas or other complex sites where low vibration or low noise levels are required, or where limited access such as low headroom and drilling is difficult. Other types of sites that are ideal for micorpiles include obstructions, large cobbles or boulders, nearby sensitive structures, karst topography or high groundwater conditions. The unique characteristics of micropiles make them an ideal solution when other deep foundation methods are not suitable.

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Pinnacle Pier

The Pinnacle Pier™ is a ground enhancement method that uses combined piers to improve the soil to provide support for shallow foundations. The Pinnacle Pier™ mends soft soil and fill by vibration, compaction, and forcibly driven lifts of crushed rock into a drilled hole. The process consists of soft soil being removed from the ground and then; very dense, high quality crushed rock is compacted into the drilled hole which expands the hole into the adjoining soil. The compaction and driving of thin lifts of crushed rock amplifies the strength and stiffness, and augments the soil bearing capacity and also reduces soil compressibility. Pinnacle Pier™ enhanced soil can now support heavier loads on standard shallow spread and strip footings with diminished settlement. The Pinnacle Pier™ system is ideal to support shallow spread footings, tank foundations, retaining wall foundations, and embankments.

Helical Piles

Helical Piles are also known as Screw piles, screw anchors or helical anchors are a steel screw-in piling and ground anchoring system used for building deep foundations Helical Piles are manufactured using varying sizes of tubular hollow sections for the pile or anchors shaft.

The elements of a helical pile can be a solid square steel shaft, a round shaft open steel pipe pile or a combination of both square and round with one or more helical plates welded to the pipe near the tip. It is installed by rotating the shaft. As it rotates, the helical plate advances into the ground “pulling” the shaft along with it and is similar to how a wood screw works but is generally used to resist compression and lateral loading.

The Helical consist of segments or sections that are joined with bolted couplings. The depth is only limited by soil density and usefulness based on finances. The helical bearing plate or helix is one pitch of a screw thread but all helices no matter their diameter, have a standard 3” pitch. Because of their true helical shape, the helices do not auger into the soil but rather screw into it with very little soil disturbance. The plates are spaced at distances far enough apart that they function self-reliantly as individual bearing elements allowing the capacity of a particular helix on a helical pile shaft to not be affected by the helix above or below it.

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Load Transfer Platform

A Load Transfer Platform is a combination structure that dispenses loads over a broader area to create a secure embankment and provides a structurally sound, cost-effective alternative to over excavation and replacement, extensive surcharging, chemical stabilization and other conventional approaches.

Pinnacle Design/Build engineers have designed this “snow shoe” support beneath retaining walls that were to be originally created on low blow count weak soils.

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