Helical Pier Technology: At Work

November 12, 2019 / in Blog / by Admin

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 design 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.


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