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

Micropiles are small-diameter, typically 12 inches or less, deep-foundation piles. An innovative micropiles construction company, Schnabel has specialized drills that can even travel through a standard doorway and drill under an 8-foot ceiling.

Often used to underpin existing structures, micropiles can be installed inside the structure, and their installation produces less vibration than other deep foundation systems. Micropiles are also used to construct deep foundations where there are natural or man-made obstructions, since the drill systems developed for these smaller diameter holes are better able to penetrate cobbles, boulders and other obstructions compared to conventionally drilled or driven-pile systems. Allowable loads for micropiles are typically between 20 and 200 kips, but Schnabel has installed and tested micropiles to 1,200 kips.

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

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

In the most difficult drilling conditions, such as landslide debris, Schnabel has drilled micropiles and used them as soldier beams in permanent tieback wall construction. In difficult subsurface conditions and restricted access, micropiles can be a more cost-effective solution for new-structure construction. 

With decades of experience performing micropiles installation, Schnabel is able to provide the most cost effective micropile solution for your project.

Sub-surface to street level, safely and efficiently.

Micropile Case Studies

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

Interstate 40 Landslide Repair | Haywood County, NC

Schnabel was contracted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to design two tied-back micropile walls to stabilize a landslide that had been eroded by hurricane floodwaters below Interstate 40 in Haywood County, North Carolina. The final system consisted of the installation of 102 micropiles, 115 tiebacks and 1,215 LF of concrete wales to stabilize the landslide without disrupting the open lanes on the I-40.

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

American Trucking Association | Washington, D.C.

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.