Helical piles have grown in popularity in the past decade as they’ve become more accessible and awareness of the technology has grown. Further testing and studies have improved the design of helical piles making them more efficient and increasing opportunities for value engineering. This has proved beneficial as construction costs continue to climb and engineers and architects are constantly trying to maximize their clients budget.
A recent report from CBRE, the global leader in commercial real estate services and investments, covers the effect soaring construction demand, inflation, pandemic-related restrictions and supply chain disruptions are having on rising costs and uncertainty across the construction industry. Last year, CBRE’s Construction Cost Index forecasted a 14.1% year-over-year increase in construction costs in the face of escalating labor and material costs.
As an engineer, architect or developer, you’re likely already familiar with the rapidly changing costs in the construction industry.
Whether you’re working on a building refurbishment project, or renovating and need to achieve greater axial load-bearing capacity in an existing foundation, helical piles can help you tackle challenging installations and conserve your most precious resources, time and money. It’s all because helical piles are;
- CHEAPER TO MOBILIZE
- EASIER AND FASTER TO INSTALL
- NOT DEPENDANT ON WEATHER
- PROVIDE IMMEDIATE LOAD-BEARING CAPACITY
- LEED CERTIFIED
Cheaper to mobilize
Helical piles can be installed using almost any equipment with hydraulic capabilities, whether it be a specialized remote-controlled machine or a common excavator. Being able to install using a wide variety of equipment means you can avoid the expense of specialized equipment when it’s unnecessary and mobilize quickly with readily available equipment. This flexibility reduces the mobilization cost, especially as the equipment is highly mobile and compact.
This also means helical piles are perfect for limited-access sites. A mini excavator can easily access many areas that a piling rig cannot, making installation on restricted sites much less expensive. Having more flexibility with the machine used to install also allows a greater variety of restrictions to be overcome.
Easier and faster to install
Did you know that an operator and a laborer working as a team can install up to 40 helical piles in one working day? That depends on the soil conditions, pile design, and crew size, but a crew with experience installing helical piles can easily install over 400 linear feet in a day.
The speed and ease with which helical piles can be installed can keep a project on schedule as well as reduce labor and machine rental costs.
Whatever the weather
Helical piles can be installed even in areas with high water tables or sub-zero temperatures. While we realize that installation crews may not be able to tolerate these conditions, we promise that helical piles will not be the cause of any delays. This means that even in areas that experience extreme seasonal weather, helical piles can still be installed year-round.
No curing time
A helical pile provides immediate load-bearing capacity, reducing costly site delays and shortening project timelines. Alternate foundation types that use concrete require a waiting period for curing, as they rely on the friction between the soil and concrete to support the loads. Once a helical pile has been installed, it can be loaded immediately. This is because helical piles are end-bearing. They use the soil that the helix plates rest in to support loads; this eliminates curing delays.
Most helical piles manufactured in the USA are LEED certified and can contribute credits to the overall certification of a building. Over time a LEED certification can save you or your client money through tax savings and grants. A few LEED credits that can be achieved by using helical piles are:
- Material and Resources: Helical piles are manufactured using recycled steel.
- Construction and Demolition Waste Management: Installing helical piles has minimal environmental impact.
- Regional Priority: Multiple manufacturers design and build helical piles in the USA.
Interested in exploring how helical piles can provide savings on deep foundation projects in your pipeline? Get in touch.
Our design team can evaluate soil and loading information and other vital details to help you determine if helical piles are a suitable alternative for your project. The best part is this service is free.