Helical Piles: A Mimimal Green Foundation

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We spent the morning wandering about the huge Construct Canada exhibition hall, Following the green balloons marked "Green Products" and getting depressed by the proportion of obvious greenwashers but cheered by the few gems. One that had no balloon but should have is the Techno Metal Post, developed in Quebec as TechnoPieux. In northern US and Canada foundations have to go below the frost line, requiring basements or crawl spaces. If a building is on piers, a big hole is dug and a sonotube is put in and filled with concrete. Invariably there is landscape damage, piles of dirt and a big mess to be cleaned up. It is very permanent and requires concrete and redi-mix trucks. Then there is the techno-post.


low impact installation of a boardwalk in a wetland

It has a helical base of different dimensions, depending on bearing capacity needed; they bring in a little robotic machine (the R2Dpost) and just screw it into the ground. The surface is barely touched, a plastic jacket protects it from frost, and you have an instant foundation. When it is time to turn the land back to nature, you just do it in reverse and unscrew the foundation from the ground. Also effective for holdbacks and tiedowns where usually concrete is poured. What a great way to reduce our impact on the earth, get a solid foundation and idle one more concrete truck.

Googling helical pile, we found a few other manufacturers, but this is available in Canada, northeastern US and France. ::Techno Metal Post and more complete french website at ::TechnoPieux.