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Helical Foundation for 5-Storey Mixed Use Commercial & Residential Building

Saves client big on time, budget, and CO2 emissions


Porchlight Developments


5-Storey Mixed Use Building

Pile Details & Capacities

● 3 - 8-5/8" dia., 55' long shaft, 30" dia. helical● 185 kip [814 kN] ULS, req. torque: 115 kip-ft [155 kN-m]
● 3 - 8-5/8" dia., 55' long shaft, 32" dia. helical● 200 kip [880 kN] ULS, req. torque: 115 kip-ft [155 kN-m]
● 1 - 8-5/8" dia., 55' long shaft, 35" dia. helical ● 210 kip [924 kN] ULS, req. torque: 115 kip-ft [155 kN-m]

Key Challenges

● Tight Access● Piling Near Existing Structures● Short Timeline● Winter Construction

Versapile employee monitoring helical pile installation
Large excavator installing helical pile
Versapile employee monitoring helical pile installation using helical drive attached to excavator


VersaPile was engaged during the construction phase to help Porchlight Developments (Porchlight) install piles for a 5-storey mixed use condominium.
After driven pre-cast piles had been installed, Porchlight discovered that the roof top HVAC units specified in their plans were unavailable. The replacement HVAC units were so different to the originals that structural implications were inevitable.
Some of the pre-cast piles already installed were not going to work for the revised structural design and loads. However, it was deemed infeasible to mobilize driven pile rigs again to install additional piles.
Further complicating the issue was that the concrete walls had already been cast for the parkade walls. As they were not yet laterally braced by the floor system, the vibrations from driving pre-cast concrete piles could have caused damage.

Mobilization was a problem for pre-cast piles as well, due mostly to the length of pile required to encounter glacial till (55' or 16.7m). This would have entailed staging in a neighboring parking lot with the pile rig moving in and out of the site for each pile. Additionally, there was not enough space for a support crane and a drilling rig required for pre-boring to reduce vibrations.. During construction the site had become rough and uneven, posing further problems for driven rigs.

The options available to the client were caisson piles or helical piles. Helical piles were ultimately chosen due to their quick mobilization, ability to build on the piles immediately, and reduced costs.


Porchlight contacted their geotechnical engineer to determine what their options were for resolving the new point loads that resulted from their HVAC unit re-specification. Their engineer, Silvestre Urbano, had experience working with VersaPile on numerous projects and knew that helical piles could offer the solution.
Helical piles delivered a less complex mobilization strategy and a better technical solution.
VersaPile mobilized with a John Deere 290G 30T excavator, New Holland C245, and a RAM 3500 with gooseneck trailer for hauling the piles.

The piles consisted of a 30' lead and 25' extensions installed with a high-capacity Eskridge D1400 115 kip-ft torque drive attached to the 290G. All piles were installed to refusal (confirmed by torque readings) in dense glacial till to meet the specification and supervision of the geotechnical engineer.

Versapile employee using tape measure to ensure accuracy of large diameter helical pile
Versapile employee monitoring helical pile installation using helical drive attached to excavator
Five story multi use building on helical piles


The installation took 3 days, with an additional day required for a CWB certified welder to install the steel pile caps. Seven (7) high-capacity helical piles were installed within a partially constructed 5-storey mixed use condominium to meet loads up to 210 kip (920 kN).
The piles were turned over to Porchlight with a complete installation record and a sealed letter of inspection from the Pile Engineer (retained by VersaPile).
It took just under a month from the time that Porchlight contacted VersaPile to the last pile going in the ground, which included a week off at Christmas. The longest portion of the project was simply the time it took for custom high-capacity helical piles to be manufactured and shipped from Western Canada to Winnipeg.
Porchlight was delighted with the professional solutions and high level of workmanship delivered by VersaPile on this project. Because of helical piles, the client was able to get their project back on-track without excessive delays or undue costs.

Contact Us


2046 Van Gorp Road
Ile Des Chenes, MB
Canada R0A 0T0


Monday - Friday8:00 - 17:00


(234) 567-8900moc.elipasrev%40olleh

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