Deep Foundations

Deep Foundations

Deep Foundations are a type of foundation element that transfers a building’s weight deep into the subsoils.   Deep foundations are commonly used to support buildings over poor soils.

Some types of deep foundations include:

  • Helical piles consist of steel pipes with circular “helices” that spin into the ground. In essence, the pile needs to screw through the “bad” soil and into the load bearing soils below. Helical piers typically do not work well with bedrock as they need to advance into a soil to attain load capacity.
  • Push piles consist of a steel pipe that is pushed down into the ground, using the building as a counterweight. This “end bearing” system works best when load bearing soils consist either of Glacial Till (hardpan) or Bedrock.
  • Drilled piles are typically used when a lot of rocks/rubble are buried in the ground, as helical and push piers cannot advance through subsurface obstructions. This system is generally the most expensive underpinning system and is used when no other underpinning options are viable.
  • Pit underpinning, also known as Foundation underpinning, is a general term that refers the process of extending a foundation to deeper levels.   Foundation underpinning is commonly done to strengthen a building that may be settling into the ground.

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