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Education, Advice, & Resources on Industrial Helical Pier Foundations

A relentlessly-dedicated team of foundation experts who plan, design, and install phenomenal deep foundations for renewables, oil & gas, power transmission & distribution

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Education, Advice, & Resources on Industrial Helical Foundations

A relentlessly-dedicated team of foundation experts who plan, design, and install phenomenal deep foundations for your projects in renewables, oil & gas, power transmission & distribution

Ask a Foundation Expert a Question:

Thanks for getting in touch!

We'll review your message and get in touch with you within 1 business day. Or you can call us at 1 (281) 825-2221

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Your Helical Pier Foundation Partners

Providing a phenomenal helical pier foundation experience for your projects in energy storage & renewables, oil & gas, transmission & distribution

Energy Storage & Renewables

Two large yellow excavators working in field installing helical piers with S&B helical employees monitoring installation.

Helical Piers & Renewable Energy - A Perfect Match

Oil & Gas

Two S&B helical employees monitoring installation of helical pier from a helical drive attached to an excavator.

Everything to Know About Helical Piers for Oil & Gas

Transmission & Distribution

Eleven large diameter helical piers sticking out from ground

How Are Helical Piers Used in Transmission & Distribution?


8+ Years of Outstanding Helical Pier Foundations

How two U.S. Army Iraq War veterans went from serving their country, to working in the oil industry, to founding one of America's premier providers of engineered high-capacity helical pier foundations for industrial and utility construction.

Collage of photos of founders of S&B John Lisle, Clayton Carmack and Chris Carmack
Example of complete helical pier with two helixes towards bottom of pier and flat plate pier cap on top


What is a helical pier?

Also known as Helical Piles, Helical Anchors, Screw Piles, or TorcSills

  • What exactly is a helical pier and what does it do?

    A helical pier is a deep foundation technology first invented in the early 1830's. It can replace foundation solutions like poured concrete or driven piers to provide outstanding foundation support to any structure. They can also be used as ground anchors to support guy wires, tie-downs, and more.
    The secret sauce of a helical pier can be found in its unique design. A helical pier has a relatively narrow shaft diameter in comparison to the wide helix plates. These helix plates (pl. helices) are stamped in a way that gives them a true helical shape. The shape helps them turn smoothly into the ground without disturbing the soil and is the defining feature of a helical pier.
    The wide helices provide a large surface area that, once installed, have force exerted on them by the surrounding soil. That force of the soil on the helices, along with factors like skin friction, provide the compression and tension load resistance of the pier.

  • What are the benefits of a helical pier foundation?

    ● Faster and safer to install than driven or poured foundations ● Strong and durable - can support over one million pounds and can last over a century ● A single helical pier can replace tens of thousands of pounds of concrete foundation ● Typically more economical than other foundation solutions ● Doesn't need excavation - no piles of tailings left to clean up ● Extremely versatile - can be value-engineered for ideal cost vs. performance ● Will not cause vibrations - no disturbance to infrastructure, humans, or enviormnet ● Requires fewer personnel and less equipment to install ● Can be easily uninstalled and potentially re-used

  • Why choose a helical pier foundation?

    The biggest reasons our customers choose to work with S&B Helical for a helical foundation are because they can:● Finish projects faster and cut delays with wildly increased efficiency● Eliminate the cost, time, and pain, of using concrete foundations● Save money and start building sooner with quick and economical mobilization● Get detailed reports about the installation and performance of each helical pier● Sit back and relax while a team of foundation experts makes the process easy

  • Do engineers trust helical piers?

    Yes, engineers across the United States (and the world) trust helical piers. The foundation technology is included in building codes, studied by universities, and used to support everything from renewable energy installations to petro-chemical equipment.

  • Are helical piers expensive?

    The exact cost of your helical pier foundation depends on the specific details of your project. However, generally speaking, a helical pier installation is often more economical overall compared to other solutions like cast or driven piers.


Where Can You Use Helical Piers?

  • Energy Storage & Renewables

    They say renewable energy is the key to a better future, so it only makes sense to support that future on the best possible foundation. Helical piers leave zero impact on the environment they're installed in and are an excellent eco-friendly foundation solution. Their versatility and ease-of-install make them a favorite for energy storage, solar farms, wind turbines, power distribution, and more.

  • Oil & Gas

    As oil and gas operators find themselves having to find new ways to increase economy and streamline operations, helical piers are an ideal solution to the modern challenges of the industry. Fast, efficient, and adaptable, they're fast becoming the new standard in up, mid, and downstream operations. Production facilities, pipelines, slug catchers, and compressor stations, are just a handful of the use-cases.

  • Transmission & Distribution

    Transporting power safely and reliably to Americans everywhere is a huge challenge. Make that challenge a little easier with helical pier foundations for transmission and distribution projects. From transmission lines to electrical substations, there's practically no limit to the ways that helical pier foundations can benefit your transmission and distribution project.

Two large yellow excavators working in field installing helical piers with S&B helical employees monitoring installation.


1,000,000lb Capacity Helical Foundation for Slug Catcher

How helical piles helped save this client over $100,000 and 2 weeks on their foundation


Why Choose Helical Piers?

Some of the reasons engineers, estimators, contractors, and more, are all choosing helical pier foundations for their projects

Two S&B employees monitoring installation of helical pier from a helical drive attached two an excavator

Faster & Easier

In 99% of projects, helical piers will be faster to install than driven or cast foundations. They require less equipment, personnel, and handling. There's no holes to dig, concrete to pour, or long piers to hammer-in. This means you spend less time waiting around for your foundation and spend more time making progress.

Versatile & Adaptable

Never let your plans be limited by your foundation again. Helical piers can make even the most remote and difficult jobsites feasible to profitably build on. We apply our decades of combined engineering experience to design an efficient and economical foundation, regardless of how challenging the project or location is.

Economical & Efficient

Even though helical piers aren't designed as a "budget foundation", their extreme efficiency often makes them more economical than other options. When it comes to the tight margins of energy construction, a helical foundation can turn a costly and stressful project into a budget-happy breeze.

Engineered & Reliable

We'd never ask you to "just trust us" when it comes to the performance of your foundation. Thankfully, you don't have to. Helical piers have been intensively studied since their invention almost 200 years ago and have been vetted by engineering authorities in North America, the U.K., and beyond.

Helical piers holding slug catcher foundation with two excavators working in field, with S&B work vehicles


How to Get Your Helical Pier Foundation Installed

We have a simple goal: make your helical pier foundation experience as phenomenal as possible.

  • Illustration


    Before we unleash our pack of engineers on your foundation design, our team has to know your project inside and out. We'll work with you in-person or virtually to gather the information we need to create the perfect helical solution.

  • Illustration

    Design & Estimate

    After the consultation, we have the info we need to let our engineers loose. Keeping up-to-date with the latest in helical science, they work to create a design and estimate that perfectly balances your foundation's safety, cost, and performance.

  • Illustration


    When our friendly foundation installers show up, they'll be ready with everything to get the job done. We extensively train our staff in jobsite safety and conduct, so all you'll have to do is be amazed at how fast and quiet they are. In fact, the only way you'll ever know we were there is the ready-to-use foundation we leave behind.

Ask a foundation expert a question

1 (281) 825-2221


What Our Customers Say

We were taught not to brag, so we'll let our clients speak for us

"I've never worked with a safer, more knowledgeable, competent, hard-working, document-control-having, fair & friendly contractor than S&B Helical in my entire career. If you need a helical foundation, you need S&B."

John Spencer

"S&B Helical has done a great job. I enjoyed working together with them, and I'm looking forward to our next project together."

Anthony Knierim


Highlights from The Blog

Learn about building better foundations and finding efficiencies for your projects in renewables, oil & gas, transmission & distribution

Rural buildings damaged from Earthquake in Alaska

Can a Helical Pier Foundation Stand Up to the "Big One"?

Of all the natural disasters we face here in the United States, earthquakes are some of the most costly in terms of lives lost and economic impact. As engineers search for better earthquake-resistant construction techniques, more are asking: "How do helical pier foundations perform during an earthquake?" In this extensive and fact-based post, uncover what the structural science has found out about helical piers and their ability to hold firm during soil liquefaction and seismic events.


End of helical pier showing one helix and pilot point

The Definitive Guide to Helical Pier Foundations for Renewable Energy Projects

Helical pier foundations have quickly established themselves as an efficient, safe, and economical alternative to poured concrete or driven steel piles. Despite their popularity, many in the renewable energy construction industry are unfamiliar with helical pier technology. In this epic article, learn everything you need to know about using this revolutionary foundation solution for your renewable energy project.


Text that says “Helical Pile Foundations” contained within a crossed out circle (fix pile to pier)

Do Helical Pier Foundations Fail More Often Than Concrete or Driven Piles?

Here's one that some helical contractors hate admitting: helical pier foundations fail. Is there a hidden flaw in helical pier technology that's endangering projects across the United States? Or is there another explanation for premature helical pier foundation failure? Click here to find out why helical foundations fail and what you can do to prevent it. 



What's The True Carbon Emissions of Helical Piers Vs. Concrete Foundations?

Helical piers could be your answer to dramatically slashing the CO2 emissions of your project. See how helical piers and concrete compare in this in-depth assessment of the carbon impact of steel and concrete - and see how to slash your CO2 emissions by more than 325%.



How Much Does a Helical Pier Foundation Cost in the United States?

"How much will my foundation cost?" is one of the most common questions we get asked here at S&B Helical. The answer, however, isn't as cut-and-dry as you might think. Learn why in this article.



Everything You Need to Know About Helical Piers For Oil & Gas

Helical pier foundations have become the preference of countless engineers and companies in the oil & gas market. If you've ever wondered why helical piers have become so popular, what they're good for, and the reasons you might want to use them, this article has your answer.



9 Common Myths About Helical Pier Foundations

Myths and misinformation regarding helical piers have been confusing the conversation for decades. From doubting the performance of helical piers to plain-old misrepresentation of facts, here's 9 common helical pier myths and the truth behind them.


Ask Us About Helical Pier Foundations For Your Project

Wondering if helical pier are right for your project? Have questions about foundation design or engineering? Our expert team is ready to help, get in touch with us using the contact form or information below.

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Contact Info

1 (281) 825-2221moc.lacilehbs%40selas

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