This informal CPD article ‘Why screw piles are the future for construction’ was provided by ABC Anchors, a UK based helical designer and manufacturer who also offer piling installation services.
Why screw piles are the future for construction
The construction industry is vastly changing and developing under the stress of climate change and environmental laws being introduced up and down the country, let alone the world. The process for creating cement involves using long kilns heated at 1500C to mould together materials of limestone and clay - also producing large quantities of CO2 emission.
Construction is having a deadly impact on our planet, however sustainable building materials have been developed and created to veer away from the likes of Concrete and Cement, and created a sustainable ‘screw pile’ to promote green construction methods.
Screw piles are becoming the way forward for foundation materials and construction, and below we have listed a few reasons why there is a future for green construction…
What is a screw pile and why is it environmentally sound?
Screw piles are designed, developed and manufactured to assist with the structural foundations for a variety of construction projects. The design of screw piles allow for both permanent and temporary foundations, a great go-to option from festival staging to permanent extensions and new builds.
The ‘Screw Pile’ or ‘Ground Screw’ is a slender piece of metal tube, designed with a ‘rock-tip’ and ‘helical flights’ to help wind itself into the ground. Screw piles have ideal skin friction and size measurements to preserve and not disturb soil conditions where installation occurs. They are designed to have mitigated impact on the sub ground levels, so as not to disrupt underlying material layers such as tree roots.
Along with a variety of sizes and shapes, screw piles are designed to provide the foundation for any structural project that requires them. For instance, if building in a TPA (Tree Protected Area), then either the local council or Building control will most likely recommend screw piles. This is because the slender design helps to pass through root-protected areas by avoiding strip foundations, which can disturb multiple root systems and soil layers situated in building locations.
In contrast with construction of concrete foundations, the process of muck-away and digging often can kill tree roots and harm the natural environment around them. This happens when deep excavators are used on site, causing compaction and large amounts of surface damage to surrounding ecosystems. The reduction of heavy plant machinery from site means reduced levels of CO2 polluting sites across the UK, meaning a significant improvement on construction methods, and providing a cost-effective and sustainable method of building foundations.
Why would companies start to invest in Screw Pile Technology?
Screw piles are usable across the board in construction, from helping build extensions and new build houses, to restoring footbridges, historic buildings or even treehouses in local parks and nature reserves. Screw piles are an adaptable bedrock for new construction. Since the turn of the century, more and more companies are turning towards screw pile installation due to the environmental benefits, lead times and opportunities associated with them.
The opportunities that are produced from screw piling consist of work within the telecommunications, railway, construction, new build, eco and environmental construction sectors. With a significant history in industry, they are far from a ‘new technology’ - and have been a viable option for foundations since the 1800’s.
Many companies use forms of screw piles in the construction of roadside and railway equipment. These companies use screw piles on a vast scale, as they are able to work up and down the country. As well as using, screw piles for the maintenance and construction of overhead power distribution in the UK. Screw piles are used on smaller projects too, with local contractors joining our training programmes, to offer installation of garden rooms, decking, footbridges and paths for homeowners and local councils looking for eco-options in Tree Protected Areas and environment-based laws.
The design and manufacturing process of screw piles provides product confidence to the end users. The piles offer minimal disturbance at installation and provide contractors with instant loadings, promoting valuable time savings on site - and reducing allocated costs and harms to the surrounding environment.
Using screw piles into the future
When looking towards the future - it’s evident that screw piles will play a vital role in transforming the construction industry ‘green’. With that in mind, companies up and down the UK have started to look towards screw piles as a viable option for foundations and reinforcements, both permanent and temporary.
In conclusion, we firmly believe that screw piling should be an option open to everyone. With options for repair work to failed traditional footings and the installation of new build homes and temporary structures.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from ABC Anchors, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.