Hospital Underpinning System

We recently installed an underpinning system around a hospital to prevent rain-related flooding on their grounds. Let’s look at the problems they face and the solution we provided.

The Problem

The hospital often experienced flooding on their grounds and in their basement during and after rainstorms. They realized they needed to prevent the flooding, so it didn’t cause structural damage to their buildings. The hospital hired a contractor to perform stormwater drainage improvements throughout their campus. The contractor collaborated with us to create a customized underpinning system that would alleviate the hospital’s flooding problems.

Our Solution

We provided a helical pile underpinning system to the contractor. At one point, we had to redesign our solution to reduce project costs and adjust to product availability. We also had to add an uplift restraint bracket to the solution to support two pump stations on the hospital’s campus. The contractor installed the underpinning system by putting it in a trench box 15 feet below the ground. One of our team members was onsite for four days during the installation to ensure the contractor’s installation process went smoothly.

The Results

The project was a success. The installation process went well, and the contractor used two pieces of our helical drive equipment, a drive head and a torque indicator, to get the job done. The underpinning system transferred the foundation’s weight to stable soil to prevent flooding throughout the campus.

Underpinning Systems FAQs

What is an underpinning system’s purpose?

Contractors install underpinning systems to transfer a foundation’s weight from a limited access area, an area with compressible soils, or an environmentally sensitive area to more stable, unrestricted soils. When the system transfers the weight to stable soils, it helps the foundation meet building codes and other regulatory requirements.

What types of construction components do underpinning systems use?

Underpinning systems use two types of piers: helical piers and resistance piers.

What’s the difference between helical piers and resistance piers?

Helical piers stabilize or lift distressed foundations in underpinning systems. They’re also often part of deep foundation systems, which create foundations below a site’s surface when its soils are too soft, weak, or compressible for shallow foundations. In deep foundations, they transfer foundation loads to the solid soils or rock far beneath the weak or compressible soils near the surface. They also provide uplift for shallow foundations to underpin them, which is what they did in the hospital project described above.

Resistance piers, also called push piles or jack piles, are also used in underpinning systems. However, they are often used for structural repairs or remediation, while helical piers often appear in new underpinning installations.

Does Intech provide helical piers and resistance piers?

Yes, we provide both types of piers for underpinning systems. Our team members can engineer your helical or resistance piers to fit your construction project’s exact needs.

What are helical drive heads?

Helical drive heads are pieces of equipment that help drive helical piers into the ground during installation. They weigh thousands of pounds, which makes them better to install the piers with.

What are torque indicators?

As their name implies, torque indicators measure and show how much torque a helical pier faces once it’s installed in the ground. Torque is a force that rotates and twists objects. These wireless indicators ensure that helical piers don’t face too much torque after installation. Too much torque could bend the piers out of shape, and our indicators help prevent that from happening.

Does Intech provide helical drive heads and torque indicators?

Yes, we do. We offer a rental kit of helical drive heads, and we sell the drive heads as well. We offer the torque indicators among the accessories for the drive head kits.

Partner With Intech for Your Underpinning Projects

When you purchase your underpinning products from Intech, you receive more than just top-quality piers and equipment. You also receive excellent support services and customer service. We work with you to customize our products and systems to meet your projects’ requirements.

If you need underpinning systems for your next project, reach out to us today. We’re ready to provide the products you need and engineer them to fit your project’s requirements.

Tim Comb


Tim is the President of Intech Anchoring and has 25 years of experience in the Civil Engineering and Geostructural Industry. Tim has developed extensive industry knowledge by working to support the needs of specialty contractors at each and every business level. Tim’s diverse industry background has given him exposure to a wide variety civil construction projects, ranging from the simplest residential applications to the most complex commercial and industrial projects. Coupled with a highly skilled and educated team, Tim focuses on providing the highest quality products and solutions to Intech Anchoring’s customers in order to consistently exceed expectations.