Both ring beams and screw piles are commonly used methods in construction. But can they be used together? The simple answer is; if the conditions are right, yes.
A simple reason that their use together is seemingly not common is because many groundwork professionals have not used them together either because they’ve not known they can be used together or they haven’t learned how to “tie in” the piles to the ring beams. However, ring beams and screw piles can be a perfect partnership for any number of structures. So, how do you use them?
How to Use Screw Piles with Ring Beams
The most important step in using screw piles with ring beams is preparation. Before you start construction, you will need to work with a structural engineer to determine the correct calculations for your project. This will enable you to accurately ascertain which pile size you require and how many piles you will need, Ensuring that your foundations are suited to your projected load.
Site marking and screw pile installation
Once you’ve marked out your site, each screw pile needs to be installed. Depending on the size of the project and the available space, this can be done either with a hand-held torque head or an excavator with a drive unit attached. It is recommended that you use a gauge to monitor resistance throughout the installation to ensure that each pile is capable of taking the required load. Each screw pile should sit slightly proud of ground level once installed. This will be essential for fixing the head of the screw pile into the beam.
Attaching the ring beam
Once your screw piles are in place, each pile should be completed with a flat plate termination. Sometimes, groundworkers will feed steelwork into the top of the screw pile to tie aid the anchoring into the concrete. Both options are frequently used. Once the ring beam is in place, you can continue the construction of the rest of the building.
Why Use Screw Piles with Ring Beams?
There are four main reasons why screw piles have become a popular choice for use with ring beams.
· Installation is fast. Because screw piles can be used in practically all weather conditions and are ready to use immediately after installation, there are no delays, meaning that you can maximise efficiency and get straight on with every project.
· Reduce the depth of the ring beam. Some construction sites require particularly deep foundations, this is often due to soil conditions. For example, a site may require 6m deep foundations. In these cases, there may be a desire to avoid using concrete in such an excess where screw piles can achieve the depth in a more efficient manner.
· Minimal disturbance. The screw piling process is less intrusive than major excavation works for deep concrete foundations. This can be really important when adding a home extension or working close to other properties and trees. The process is also relatively quiet, which can be a huge benefit if you have near neighbours.
· You can obtain exactly what you need for your project. Screw piles come in a range of different sizes. A structural engineer will specify that you get the exact size you need. During the installation, the torque can be constantly monitored to ensure the screw-pile takes the exact load required, normally with a 3x safety factor.
Screw piles and ring beams were made to go together. Whether you’re working with timber or steel, they’re the perfect combination to create a strong and durable structure. Whether for garden rooms, home extensions, or larger projects.
To find out more about screw pile solutions and supplies, get in touch with UK Helix.
Disclaimer –Information in this blog does not in any way constitute building advice or guidance for private or commercial building projects.