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October 20, 2022

Best Types of Commercial
Foundations for Austin, TX

best commercial foundation for Austin, TX

Austin, Texas has a pretty unique geological makeup, and that has to be considered when building facilities meant to last. This is especially a concern for commercial properties, where optimizing building lifespans is an important part of asset management and mitigating overhead costs.

In this post, we take a look at the best foundation types for commercial buildings in Austin, and discuss how they can preserve the integrity of your property.

Pier System Foundations

The traditional slab foundation is widespread in Central Texas, but it is actually not well suited to the environment. Austin’s clay soil is especially prone to cycles of swelling and shrinking in response to wet weather, creating instability. Without consistent support of the ground beneath it, slab foundations can begin to shift and crack.

Such ongoing variation in our soil structure degrades slab foundations far sooner than normal. This means that facility owners must plan and budget for more maintenance work and replacement than would typically be required.

Consequently, many owners of commercial facilities have sought out alternatives. Pier system foundations are highly recommended, and are quickly becoming popular as properties upgrade their structures.

Pier systems use a grid of multiple piers penetrating deep into the ground, sometimes all the way to the bedrock. This foundation type remains stable despite changes in the soil volume around it, making it much more accommodating of Austin’s malleable clay.

There are a few types of pier systems available, each with its own advantages. Some will be more suitable for certain applications and sites than others.

concrete pier foundation in Austin, TX

Concrete Piers

Concrete piers are strong, sturdy, and suitable for building sites with shallow soil. However, they are more vulnerable to the effects of moisture than other pier options. It’s also worth noting that traditional installations do have a structural weakness in their jacking blocks. Douglas Foundation Solutions solves this problem by offering a proprietary concrete pier system that eliminates stress points, offers 40% more support, and requires 30% fewer holes during installation.

steel piers in Austin, TX

Steel Piers

Steel pier foundations offer heavy-duty support, reaching all the way down to the bedrock. As such, they are only options for sites where the bedrock can easily be reached. Large facilities sited on especially unstable soil, or simply requiring extensive support, are best served by this pier type. Warranty adjustments are less common with steel piers thanks to their strength. Less than 2% of installations result in callbacks.

helical piers in Austin

Helical Piers

Helical piers are a hybrid solution, bringing together the best qualities of both concrete and steel piers. Also known as “screw piers”, these structures feature a helix-shaped end that is screwed into the soil. They offer more flexibility than their counterparts due to the fact that they only need to be drilled in past the soil’s frost line. Helical piers do not need bedrock support to offer security in low-stability soil. This makes them a robust solution for sites that do not have the ideal conditions for concrete or steel piers.

Equip Your Facility with a Foundation that Meets Management Goals

Douglas Foundation Solutions has helped many Austin businesses achieve better facility management outcomes. With our pier and beam installations, we’ve extended property lifespans, reduced maintenance needs, and improved asset values. Facilities supported by our pier foundation systems benefit from lower structural vulnerability, reducing risk of damage to company property, as well as on-site equipment and materials.

Our expert team offers rapid installations that keep downtime minimal and fast track facilities to operational status. We provide full-service solutions that respect budgetary constraints while also balancing the needs of the site and its built structures.

We invite you to request an evaluation. Our professionals will perform a thorough inspection and recommend the solution that works best for your business.