One Million Pounds

West African Elephant

What’s 12.75 inches wide, 70 feet long, and can hold the weight of 83 fully grown male African elephants?

Until recently the answer would not have been a helical pipe pile. But at University Village in Seattle, tests for a new parking garage showed that a single helical pile could hold over a million pounds. Until then, helical piles had been used for up to about one-third that weight (if you’re keeping track, that’s the weight of only 27 fully grown, male African Elephants).

Why is this important? Helical piles can be installed more quietly and with much less vibration than standard pipe piles. The piles can be screwed into the ground without disrupting property owners and users. They can also be a less expensive foundation option for certain sites. Helical piles are well suited for sites with soft or liquefiable soils over a firm bearing layer.

Helical Pile

A helical pipe pile is named for the helix (spiral)-shaped plate that winds around its base. Photo source: Advanced Geosolutions Inc (AGI)

More about helical pipe piles.

More about African elephants.