Helical Pier Technology: At Work

The earliest known lighthouse was built over 2,000 years ago in Egypt. Currently, there are more than 18,600 lighthouses around the world. Designed to warn mariners of dangerous rocky coasts and help guide vessels safely in and out of harbors, they were supported in the 19th century by helical piers.


Sometimes referred to as anchors, piles or screw piles, helical piers are deep foundation solutions. They’re utilized to secure or repair existing foundations and are often employed when soil solutions prohibit the use of standard foundation solutions.


An Advantageous Option


Helical pier technology is selected for both residential and commercial applications because it’s cost-effective, requires little to no concrete, can be performed in limited access situations and is virtually vibration-free. Helical piers are easy to install and don’t require the special equipment their most costly counterparts do. In addition, construction professionals don’t have to wait for concrete to set and harden due to the ability of helical pile systems to be loaded immediately after installation.


Helical piers can be rearranged to several orientations, thereby fitting the needs of multiple types of foundation projects. In the residential market, they can repair and save homes that are sinking or sagging from more structural damage. This technology also is utilized to fix foundations when they fail to serve their purpose anymore.


Market Use


In the commercial market, construction professionals are able to implement helical pier technology when a deep foundation solution is specified through a soil sample. This is especially advantageous when a project sign doesn’t have a lot of room for large, heavy construction equipment.


At PierTech, we make two types of piers, both of which are patented and made from the highest-quality steel. The first is a round shaft, which is usually used in compression situations. The second is a square shaft, most often utilized in tension situations. These piers boast higher torque capacity than the competition, superior lateral strength and stability and options for galvanized or bare steel.


Project Spotlight


In one of our commercial projects, we installed helical piles at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were installed next to the church’s existing structure. The purpose for this was to add an auditorium to the structure. Because of poor soil conditions and tight working conditions, helical piers were requested for use.


This project required a deep installation, so we manufactured helical pile leads and extensions in 15-foot sections to be installed to depths between 65 and 90 feet. This not only saved time but also reduced the cost of materials. The PierTech helical piles used at Mount Olivet were designed to an allowable capacity of 45 kips compression load, installed using a PierTech 12K Drive Head and comprised of the following items:

  • (90) 2-7/8″ X .362 Wall Cross Lock Patented Helical Pile Connection with 8-10-12 helix configuration
  • (370) 2-7/8″ x.362 Wall x 15 ft, Galvanized Cross Lock Extensions
  • (90) 2-7/8″ x .362 Wall x 7 ft Galvanized Cross Lock Extensions
  • (90) 2-7/8″ Galvanized New Construction Brackets


If you’re interested in finding out how our one-of-a-kind helical pier technology fits your project needs, simply contact us today. View some of our case studies to see more of PierTech Systems at work.


Benefits of Helical Piers in Alternative Energy Solutions

Did you know that 80 percent of the United States’ energy comes from fossil fuels? However, only 11 percent is the result of renewable sources.


You’ve probably heard the terms “renewable” and “alternative” bandied about with reference to energy. Is there a difference? According to Globalization 101, a project of the Levin Institute at the State University of New York (SUNY), “alternative energy is a broader category encompassing all non-fossil-fuel-based energy sources and processes, of which renewable energies are only a part.”


If you’re not exactly sure of which different sources alternative energy is comprised, here’s a list from the Renewable Resources Coalition:

  • Solar power
  • Nuclear Power
  • Hydroelectric Energy
  • Wave Energy
  • Biofuels
  • Natural Gas
  • Geothermal Power
  • Wind Energy
  • Biomass Energy
  • Tidal Energy
  • Hydrogen Gas


Of these, wind energy is the fastest growing renewable source. There are multiple reasons these sources have an advantage over options such as nuclear and fossil energy, a few of the key ones being a better environmental impact, improved sustainability and increased affordability.


Environmental Efficiencies


The electricity industry in the U.S. is responsible for more than one-third of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative energy solutions are able to generate electricity with a noticeably smaller environmental footprint. They also emit little or no pollution, produce less air contaminants and don’t utilize chemical processes. Wind and solar energy, specifically, don’t require water for operation, reducing the chance of water sources being polluted.


For example, the use of geothermal power in this country offsets 22 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, 200,000 metric tons of nitrogen oxides, and 110,000 metrics tons of particulate matter from coal-powered plants each year. A 1.5 kilowatt photovoltaic system will keep more than 110,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over the next 25 years while preventing the need to burn 60,000 pounds of coal. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, fewer air pollutants are released into the air the more solar panel systems are employed.


This reduction in pollution not only can affect natural resources but also public health. Many Americans suffer from respiratory issues, and pollution can exacerbate those illnesses.


Improved Sustainability


Fossil fuels are limited resources, which means they have less sustainability than alternative energy sources. Alternative, clean sources are renewable, offering a more stable supply for future utilization. Even if the usage of these resources increases, they will be replenished on a continual basis. Plus, alternative energy sources are better able to withstand large-scale failures.


Increased Affordability


Energy prices fluctuate based on supply and demand. Unfortunately for the U.S., many fossil fuel components are imported from foreign sources, so there’s a definite reliance on those countries.


Implementation of and investment in more alternative energy solutions could stabilize prices and create more jobs, thereby bolstering the U.S. economy. These solutions would also most likely cost less to operate.


These savings don’t take into account the savings that could be realized through improved public health from fewer pollutants. One study found that approximately $167 billion in health and environmental damages could be avoided by the widespread adoption of alternative energy sources.


PierTech Systems – Playing Our Part in Reducing Pollution


At PierTech, our products are used in many green technology solutions for renewable and sustainable energy. Our patented PierTech Helical Piers enable the installation of a strong foundation without the need for digging and/or excavation. Our solar ground system, which doesn’t require curing but supplies the support necessary to hold any size solar array, can be installed in only hours.


For wind energy, helical piers like those we use are streamlining the installation and concrete-free raising of wind towers, again without the need for curing times. We accomplish this by using a helical pier to support the tower and helical anchors to hold the guide wire.


If you’re interested in becoming a certified PierTech installer, sign up today to join us for our next certification training.





Five Things to Consider When Selecting a Company for Residential Foundation Construction

There are many different styles of houses: Cape Cods, colonials, craftsman, mid-century modern, bungalows and more. Though each has its unique design elements, there is one thing necessary for each one, and that is a foundation.


Even though you don’t see a foundation when looking at a house, it’s probably the most important element of it. Without a strong foundation, the house will most likely have multiple structural issues and not last very long. No one wants a house with a sinking foundation, cracked and uneven walls and floors or other costly problems.


Selecting a reliable company to construct the foundation for your home should be one of your biggest decisions, if not the most important. When there are so many businesses that perform this sort of work, though, how do you choose? In this blog, we’ll give you some guidelines on that and highlight five key things to consider before signing on the dotted line with a residential foundation construction company.


  1. Longevity

Just because a company has been around for a few years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. However, businesses that perform residential foundation construction don’t typically last in an area if they do shoddy work. Construction companies that have been around at least a decade have most likely been able to shift with changes in the industry while introducing new technology and techniques to the process.


For example, at PierTech Systems, we utilize helical piers, accessories and equipment to construct new foundations. Why? Because in addition to being easier and quicker to install, they have better bearing capacity and more securely stabilize all types of residential homes. We’ve been in this industry for more than years and have the experience and results to show for it.


  1. Reputation

Word of mouth is a great way to share opinions – positive and negative – on products and services. Sometimes the best recommendations are the ones you get from friends or family. If you know someone who recently used a company for residential foundation construction and was happy with the results, ask for the name. Likewise, if you have a friend dealing with issues due to faulty work when their foundation was installed, make sure to avoid that company. Even if you obtain a company referral from a contractor, do your research on the business to check it out for yourself.


Online research is an easy way to examine reviews on companies that perform residential foundation construction. Visit the websites of reliable resources such as the Better Business Bureau – they don’t have a personal stake in the vendors listed on their site. Look through customer reviews, but don’t base your decision solely on them.


  1. Documentation

Again, a reliable foundation for your home is essential. Issues that arise from a weak or unstable foundationcan be extremely costly and cause other problems within the structure. Verify that the company you select for your residential foundation construction has the appropriate documentation in place and will readily show it to you. This includes proper insurance – both for company damage and any damage that might occur during the process. It also encompasses licensing, which may vary by state.


  1. Materials

The best techniques aren’t going to do much good if cheap, insufficient materials are utilized in the process. The most reliable residential foundation construction companies use the highest-quality products and the strongest materials. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors you’re considering employing about the materials they plan to use and the benefits they provide.


PierTech products are produced from quality, high-strength steel, our manufacturing processes are controlled through a rigid quality assurance program, and our welding is performed in strict accordance to AWS D1.1. AWS D1.1 is the most widely used welding code in the United States.


  1. Cost

As with other products and services, the cheapest may not be the best. Don’t base a decision as important as the foundation of your home on the best price – that may end up costing you much more if structural issues arise from a weak foundation. Consider the money you spend on the construction of your foundation as a major investment in the house.  Don’t hesitate to ask for an estimate from multiple companies, and don’t choose one unless you feel 100 percent sure of your decision.


Why PierTech Systems

All our products are backed by the our commitment to performance and reliability, and our exceptional customer service is unparalleled in the industry. We are here to help support you in every aspect of any project. Read some of our customer testimonials to see for yourself!





PierTech Visits Atlanta to Showcase Our Patented Helical Piering System, Accessories and Equipment

It’s a busy time of the year for many people. Some are back in the swing of the school year. Others are back at work but wishing they were still on their relaxing summer vacation. It’s back to meetings, cooler weather and a packed schedule.


We’re keeping busy here at PierTech Systems, too. Just last week, we had the opportunity to attend and exhibit at the 2019 Tilt-Up Convention and Expo in Atlanta. Held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the annual event attracts contractors, architects, engineers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers and more from the tilt-up concrete industry. In addition to an array of exhibitors, it features networking, education, demos, awards, certification and updates on new research and technologies within the field.


At this unique event, we got to highlight why the PierTech approach to tilt-up construction puts us at a level above our competitors. Unlike other companies, we utilize our patented Tilt-Up, Insta-Brace Anchor, a unique design consisting of three helix plates welded to a 1 ½” square bar shaft. This shaft is stronger than the steel often used by other manufacturers and enables stronger buildings to be constructed much more quickly and easily. When the project is complete, the Insta-Brace Anchor can be removed and even reused down the line.


Another thing separates us from other tilt-up construction companies is our use of helical pier technology. Though it’s been around for many years, utilizing it in tilt-up construction applications is unique to PierTech. Not only is helical piering cost-effective, it doesn’t require much – if any – concrete and can be performed in situations with limited access. Other benefits of using helical pier technology in tilt-up construction applications include simple and quick installation, elimination of curing times, territorial protection and on-site training from our experienced and certified staff.


If you’d like to learn more about our products and the markets we serve, shoot us an email or give us a call at  636.536.5007.


Advantages of Tilt-Up Construction

If you’ve ever visited Chicago, you might have done one of the city’s favorite activities for tourists: the architectural boat tour. This 90-minute long ride on the Chicago River focuses on the unique structures of many of the city’s most famous and historic landmarks, such as Willis Tower, Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.


Though you probably don’t usually pay much attention in your everyday life to the way the buildings around you were constructed, a mixture of styles and methods were most likely utilized. One such technique is tilt-up construction.


If you’re not sure what it is, the American Concrete Institute defines tilt-up as “a construction technique for casting concrete elements in a horizontal position at the job site and then tilting them to their final position in a structure.” Basically, the tilt-up approach is utilized these days to construct low- to mid-rise and large commercial buildings. As one of the United States’ quickest growing industries, tilt-up construction has been used on structures for schools, office buildings, warehouses, retail developments and more.


According to the Tilt-up Concrete Association, more than 15 percent of all industrial buildings in this country are built using tilt-up methods, and over 10,000 buildings enclosing more than 650 million square feet are constructed annually using it. There are multiple reasons for the popularity of tilt-up construction, which has been around for many decades. For example, because concrete panels are constructed on the ground and tilted up into position using a crane, installing them can be done faster than other methods. This is especially beneficial in projects with a tight schedule.


A few other advantages include cost containment, increased safety, dependability and durability and design versatility.


Cost Containment


In addition to being more cost-effective to erect than many other forms of construction, most buildings made using the tilt-up method require less maintenance overall. Due to the fact that it uses concrete, which offers a higher level of insulation and soundproofing, the tilt-up technique enables buildings to have lower energy costs, including both heating and cooling.


No scaffolding or vertical formwork is necessary in tilt-up construction, so builders don’t have to use as much equipment, and their employees can focus on other project tasks. Plus, costs are reduced by eliminating the need for pre-bought materials, including painting and other outside design choices. The concrete can be manipulated to form a unique design without outside materials.


Increased Safety


Without the need for scaffolding to construct a building, the tilt-up method is safer for workers. It reduces risks from climbing on higher surfaces and spending multiple hours around heavy machinery. Plus, the concrete used in this approach meet specific standards for fire resistance.


Dependability and Durability


Not only are buildings made using tilt-up construction more dependable and long-lasting because of the use of concrete, they also are very durable. They can weather natural disasters, an influx of water, an insect infestation and heavy storms, even those with large hail. The airtight enclosures they offer ad another level of safety and efficiency – all with lower costs than other construction methods.


Design Versatility


Tilt-up buildings are not constructed in a pre-fabricated manner, so they can be designed to fit a specific form and function. The number of stories and shapes used can be customized without adding extra costs to the design due to the inclusion of a variety of materials.


Why You Should Pick PierTech Systems


Although PierTech isn’t the only company to use the tilt-up method for construction, we’re the only one doing it with helical pier technology and our patented Tilt-Up, Insta-Brace Anchor. A unique design consisting of three helix plates welded to a 1 ½” square bar shaft, it’s crafted from superior-strength steel and expedites the entire process. Our tilt-up brackets are removable and reusable for future projects, provide rapid installation and loading capability, offer minimal soil disturbance and are part of a pre-engineered system with verified load capacity.


Contact us to learn more about our approach to tilt-up construction or to find out about our customized line of helical piers, piles, anchors and helical piering accessories.







Join Us at the International Tilt-Up Convention & Expo

PierTech will be exhibiting is patented helical piering system, accessories and equipment at the Tilt-Up Convention & Expo on September 26th-28th. We will be at booth 102. Please stop by and say hi.

Join Us in Las Vegas!

If you are looking to become a PierTech Certified Installer, we will be hosting a Training Seminar on Tuesday, January 22nd, at the Luxor Resort and Casino. PierTech specializes in training potential installers with varying degrees of experience to properly calculate, plan, and execute the installation of helical piers, piles, and anchors. A $250-dollar deposit will be required upon registering for the event, which will then be applied to any purchase of equipment and/or material. Please call us today to reserve your spot at our Las Vegas event.

PierTech will also be hosting an evening reception at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, January 23rd, to thank our customers and friends for their business and continued support. Appetizers and drinks with be provided. The reception will begin at 6:00 pm. Please join us for a fun-filled evening, call us TODAY to RSVP.

The PierTech Team looks forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for Installer Training and our Evening Reception. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for training and RSVP to our evening reception!

PierTech Expert Support

Gives You the Edge

Join Us at the 2018 World of Concrete in Vegas!

PierTech Systems will be in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 23rd through the 26th for the World of Concrete. The World of Concrete tradeshow is the largest annual event dedicated to concrete and masonry professionals. PierTech will be exhibiting in South Hall, Booth #13139, showcasing our top of the line helical piers, piles, anchors, and installation equipment. Stop by our booth to find out more about our high quality patented foundation repair products and find out what jobs we can assist you with in 2018.

If you are looking to become a PierTech Certified Installer, we will be hosting a FREE Training Seminar on January 23rd at the Luxor Resort and Casino. PierTech specializes in training potential installers with varying degrees of experience to properly calculate, plan, and execute the installation of helical piers, piles, and anchors. A $250-dollar deposit will be required upon registering for the event, which will then be applied to any purchase of equipment and/or material. Please call us today to reserve your spot at our Las Vegas event.

PierTech will also be hosting an evening reception at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on January 24th to thank our customers and friends for their business and continued support. Appetizers and drinks with be provided. The reception will begin at 6:00 pm. Please join us for a fun-filled evening, call us TODAY to RSVP.

The PierTech Team looks forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for the World of Concrete, Installer Training, and our Evening Reception. Don’t forget to reserve your spot for training and RSVP to our evening reception!