MICROPILE Foundation

A leading specialty foundations provider, Schnabel uses micropile construction to provide dependable structural support in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

Micropiles are typically small-diameter piles installed to transfer loads through less competent ground to more competent underlying ground or rock. They are generally used where difficult access, low overhead, or challenging drilling conditions preclude the use of other types of deep foundations.

Because they can be installed with relatively small drilling equipment, micropiles are a cost-effective foundation system inside existing buildings, under existing bridges, and in other types of low-overhead or restricted-access conditions.

Whatever the environment, whatever your operational challenges, Schnabel has the expertise to provide the right foundation support system for your unique needs.

Micropile Solutions

Micropile foundations, often less than 12 inches in diameter, represent a cutting-edge approach in deep foundation engineering. Renowned for their expertise, Schnabel excels in using specialized drilling equipment capable of navigating tight spaces, such as standard doorways, and operating under 8-foot ceilings.

Ideal for reinforcing existing buildings, micropile foundations can be implemented within the structure itself, offering the advantage of minimal vibration during installation compared to other deep foundation methods. Their versatility extends to areas with natural or artificial obstructions, where their slim design and advanced drilling technology allow for effective penetration through challenging materials like cobbles and boulders, unlike traditional drilling or pile-driving methods. Micropiles can typically support loads ranging from 20 to 200 kips, but Schnabel’s capabilities include installing and testing micropiles for loads up to 1,200 kips.

The process of constructing micropile foundations involves utilizing these slender piles to effectively distribute structural loads to the sturdier underlying strata.

Micropiles construction involves the use of small-diameter piles to transfer loads to more competent underlying ground.

Schnabel excels in challenging drilling scenarios, including landslide rubble, where micropiles are implemented as soldier beams for permanent tieback walls. When faced with tough subsurface environments and limited space, micropiles offer an economical alternative for constructing new structures. Leveraging years of expertise in micropile installation, Schnabel delivers an efficient and budget-friendly micropile foundation solution tailored to your project’s needs.

Sub-surface to street level, safely and efficiently.

Micropiles construction is generally used where difficult conditions preclude the use of other types of deep foundations.

Interstate 40

Schnabel designed two tied-back micropile walls to stabilize a landslide that had been eroded by hurricane floodwaters below Interstate 40 in Haywood County, North Carolina.

Micropiles construction provides a cost-effective foundation system using relatively small drilling equipment.

American Trucking Association

Schnabel designed a micropile support system that enabled the construction of a new basement under an existing structure to support the renovation of the historical American Trucking Association building in Washington D.C.

NCDOT contracted Schnabel to design and build a repair that would keep this important interstate open and reestablish the eastbound lane. This successful project was completed during the coldest months of the year and within the timeframe established by the State of North Carolina.
Kevin Cargill, P.E., Interstate 40 Project


Schnabel is the sector’s most operationally efficient Geostructural Design & Construction contractor. We optimize efficiencies by leveraging decades of experience and design/build expertise to innovate processes and approaches that are consistently proven to deliver optimal outcomes for our clients.