Although screw piles have been in use for nearly 200 years many people are still unaware of the technology, its uses and its benefits. So below we provide 5 screw pile “Did you knows..” to help inform the curios.
1) Screwpiles are generally more environmentally friendly than concrete foundations
Concert footings have recently been the “go to” foundation for residential buildings.
However, the cement industry is one of the leading producers of carbon dioxide in the world today. For every tonne of cement produced, at least one tonne of CO2 is also produced according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC.
In 2015, cement production was responsible for an incredible 5.2 billion tones of emitted CO2.
If you feel that the environment is worth considering, maybe you would consider screw piles as a less environmentally impactful option.
2) You can put DIY screw-piles in by hand
You may be under the impression that screw piles are solely used for heavy construction.
This is not so. At UKHelix we supply the highest quality “DIY” screw piles available today and they can be installed by hand.
These screw piles are suitable for small projects including decking, fencing, sheds, garden rooms, home offices, man caves and home gyms.
In addition, with some planning and strong friends you could have the piles in the ground and be building the frame for your project in the same day.
3) Screwpiles can be an excellent solution when access is a problem
Perhaps you live in a town house with no access to the back garden, however you want to put a nice big garden office in the back garden?
What happens when you have know access for machinery or for clearing excavated soil away?
Screw piles could be the solution. At UK Helix we have worked on multiple projects where access has been a key factor for choosing screw piles. Depending on the size of the project the piles can often be carried through a doorway.
If DIY piles are being used only man power and two 1.5 metre crowbars are required for installation. However, if the project is for a larger structure and access is limited UKHelix may still have an answer.
We have access to a specially made hand held installation machines. The machine fits through a doorway and produces a large amount of torque for the installation of bigger piles.
This is an ideal solution for many properties in London.
4) Screwpiles have been used in construction for nearly 200 years
Alexander Mitchell, a blind Irish structural engineer, invented screw piles and patented the invention in 1833.
His initial desire was to find a way of building lighthouses on sandy and unstable soil conditions in order to reduce the cost of human life lost through boat wrecks.
His invention was not only very effective, but well received by the engineering community and in the coming decades lighthouses in many countries and continents were erected using his system.
Shortly after, screw piles were in used for piers in the UK and bridges in India. Today the applications range from foundations for small sheds to large commercial properties.
5) Many cold countries favour Screwpiles for countering frost
Many of the leading screw pile manufactures are based in countries with freezing climates. Indeed, this is the case with UKHelix, our piles are produced to the highest standards in our factory in Finland.
Countries with freezing winters appreciate the use of screw piles because of the frost level. In places like Finland the frost level is on average one metre. This means any foundation that does go below one metre is at risk of disruption and ground heave due to frost. So screw piles screw piles are a great option.
In addition, screw piles can still be installed in the middle of winter. For those in Scandinavian countries using an excavator with a warm cab to is much better than trying to dig footings by hand in frozen soil.