Foundation Underpinning

Piers and Reinforcement

Piers and foundation works

The practice of underpinning small-to-moderate sized structures to repair foundation settlement and loss of support is a common engineering endeavour that is seldom discussed, or documented in structural reports or work records. But underpinning is a global problem that affects residential developments.

The most critical element of nearly all underpinning works is the physical construction and stability of the piers.To attain an adequate load capacity, the piers generally have to be founded on firm soil strata that are beneath the weaker or unstable soils that called for the underpinning in the first place. Ref: When Retaining Walls Come Tumbling Down P.332

Further Reading:

When Retaining Walls Come Tumbling Down

When Retaining Walls Come Tumbling Down 
Author: Alan Davis

Underpinning with Screw Piers

Screw piers being placed to support concrete slab.

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Wall support

Screw piers being placed to support retaining wall.
Note PVC pipe for headstock.

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Staggered piers

Staggered screw piers (PVC headstock support) ready to be placed for support to main retaining wall foundation.

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Concrete piers

Screw piers were not suitable for this site due to salt water exposure. PVC concrete filled popes were used four metres deep.

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Barge excavation

Barge and excavator being used to place screw piers on no access site (main river)

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Unit foundation

Unit foundation failure, photograph shows excavator doing prep works before screw piers were placed.

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Wall foundation

Barge and excavator used to place staggered piers to support new retaining wall foundation.

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Building support

Screw pier being placed (using barge) to support building structure.

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