Schnabel Introduces New Underpinning Method That Improves Safety and Productivity 

Press Release

Engineering the Hazards Out of Underpinning

Schnabel introduces Soil Mix Pier Underpinning (SMPU), an entirely new underpinning method developed by combining multiple existing geo-technologies into a new product. Soil Mix Pier (SMP) technology enables clients to create rectangular-shaped soil mix piers beneath existing buildings for underpinning in construction projects.

The Soil Mix Pier Underpinning (SMPU) method was developed by Schnabel’s R&D group to eliminate the safety, cost, and performance issues associated with traditional underpinning methods. Traditional methods, such as hand-dug piers, require workers to enter confined spaces beneath existing buildings. Until now, that was the only way to build rectangular-shaped underpinning piers. Soil Mix Piers are now an alternative.

The method utilizes specialized equipment to reach beneath a structure, cutting and mixing the in-situ soil with cement grout to create a soil-cement mixture. The soil-cement hardens in place to form an underpinning pier of known geometry that can resist tremendous vertical loads from the structure above.

“Soil Mix Pier Underpinning draws from our experience with soil mixing, jet grouting, hand-dug piers, and rock excavation to provide clients with a unique and useful solution to their underpinning challenges,” said Matt Niermann, P.E., Schnabel’s Vice President of R&D and Equipment.

About Schnabel

Schnabel is a leading nationwide design-build contractor that provides customized earth retention and specialty foundation solutions for clients throughout the construction industry. Schnabel looks forward with confidence to serving the industry and its valued clients for many years to come.

For more information on Soil Mix Pier Underpinning (SMPU), visit the Schnabel website at


Schnabel is the sector’s most operationally efficient Geostuctural 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.