SUREFOOT FAQs

Design & Materials

What is Surefoot made of?

All Surefoot pile caps are fabricated using 350 grade plates with variable thickness, starting with the T150 at 4mm to the SF600 using 10mm. the driving guides are custom made to suit the micropiles.

What is a Micropile?

The micropile is one of the main components of Surefoot. Each micropile is driven into the ground and together they resist the loadings applied to the Surefoot cap.

Which micropiles can be used?

For strength and durability only Surefoot micropiles can be used to maintain and receive the Surefoot International warranty.  The size of our micropiles is a standard 32 Nominal Bore pipe with a heavier gauge / wall thickness of 4mm.  The micropiles come with a 600 Hot Dipped Galvanized finish which is unique to Surefoot micropiles. This specialty product is only available from Surefoot NZ

What are the maximum loads of Surefoot?

The Surefoot loads are determined using the relevant geotechical info and tested result and design calculations. Surefoot can receive loads of up to 36 Tonne depending on the model and ground conditions. Further capacities can be achieved by combining models in groups and joining with steel sub frames. Surefoot is one of the only systems that has the capacity to resist high bending moments which means that it can be used for many purposes beyond typical construction such as communication towers, masts and wind turbines.

What is the corrosion capacity of Surefoot?

Depending on soil and environment characteristics, the design life is generally 50 years which is required to meet the building code. There are exceptions or additions that can be made where required.  Please see our compliance certificate for our coating system here.

 
Installation

How long does it take to install?

The smallest T150 pilecaps can be installed in as little as 15 minutes, through to the larger high capacity caps SF500 and SF600 can take around 45 minutes. Imagine, a complete foundation for a home installed in a day with construction of the subfloor commencing the next day.

What equipment is required to install?

A standard jackhammer with a rating of 45 Joules is the main tool required to install Surefoot. Please read our Installation Manual to see all of the equipment required to install.

Installation on sloped sites?

It’s not necessary to level the land to build with Surefoot. Surefoot simplifies the construction process and adapts to the land without increasing costs.  Surefoot can add value to heavily sloped sites that were traditionally prohibitively and costly to build upon.

Avoiding existing infrastructure and cabling?

When installing Surefoot in dense urban and industrial areas, it is prudent to contact "Dial before you dig" and have plans of existing infrastructure before installation commences. If this is not available, cabling and pipes can be located with a basic CAT scanner. Once located there are two options, change the location or position of Surefoot to avoid the infrastructure or use a 2 or 3 way Surefoot model that has the driving directions of the micropiles changed.

Avoiding services, obstacles and boundary conditions?

By using the Surefoot 2 or 3 way bases with the correct micropile directions, Installation can avoid known obstacles such as foundations of existing building services or boundary conditions of the allotment.

 
Ground Conditions

Can Surefoot be used in Loose Sands / Soft Clays?

Depending on the applied loadings, Surefoot can be used in many applications on soils with low capacity. Our system allows for the use of various length micropiles depending on the engineering assessment. The piles can be driven further and as required into a soil layer with a higher resistance value.

Can Surefoot be used in Reactive Soil sites?

By referring to each soil test, our engineering team can determine the appropriate pile embedment to minimize the impact of seasonal movement in soils.

Can Surefoot be used in Rocky soils?

Depending on the applied loadings and the type of rock encountered, our Engineering team can assess the best foundation solution in soils with rock layers. Please read our Rock Policy in our installation manual here

Can Surefoot be used in Saline or Acidic soils?

When dealing with marine or very aggressive environments, the Surefoot components have a galvanising coating that well exceeds the industry standard but, if extra life is required before 'first maintenance' an additional coating can be applied as per AS/NZS 2312.2:2014 for all the above ground components.  In regards to the in ground micropiles where there is corrosive soils, the Surefoot micropiles with their increased HDG coating and wall gauge provide a greater capacity than necessary for corrosion compared to traditional coating systems or thinner pipe options.

 
Compliance

Is Surefoot Certified to the New Zealand Building Code?

When required, the footing system is certified by a Registered Engineer/ practitioner who supplies computations, layout plan and PS1 certificate of Compliance- Structural Design to the New Zealand Building Code

Has Surefoot been tested?

The product has been officially tested to European, Australian/New Zealand and International standards.

In Australia, it was originally been tested for research and innovation purposes by Swinburne University, with subsequent engineering testing carried out in both New Zealand and Australia.  In Europe it has been certified by Lloyd's Registry to meet the requirements of all relevant Euro Codes.

 

In addition to this, Surefoot New Zealand has conducted many unofficial tests over the years for internal research. On a more recent note, Surefoot has been engaged for a joint research venture led by the Australian Federal Government in collaboration with both Swinburne University and Melbourne University, this research will have a joint finance of $500,000 for more research and development of our products.

 

Please visit our Resources page to see some of our certifications or contact our Engineering and Design team for further information on the matter.

What is needed to get a Surefoot design?

For estimating purposes, our team only requires a basic diagram of the structure and a description of the project's location and soil type. This service is free of charge. For a more compressive quotation a completed engineering design is required, for this design engineering certified drawings and a soil tests are required.

Environmental Impact?

Surefoot does not disturb the land and soil of the job site. There is no need to level, cut and fill or change the landscape (unless specified). Surefoot does not disturb natural drainage patterns and can be installed around treed areas avoiding the use of root barrier systems, since the piles do not damage the tree roots. Surefoot eliminates or drastically reduces excavation, even when used in conjunction with concrete.

 
Surefoot vs. other systems

vs. Concrete?

For many applications Surefoot offers a superior solution to traditional concrete foundations. This is especially true when building on sloping sites, weak soils or if the structure is subject to large bending moment loads. Surefoot eliminates or greatly reduces excavation and heavy machinery on the job site.

vs. Screwpiles?

Other Steel piling systems such as helical piers and screw piles are relatively expensive solutions that are normally specified when there is a particular construction problem to resolve. Surefoot offers various advantages over these systems, Surefoot is more precise, has higher capacities (Price/capacity ratio) and is easier to install. Special drilling augers and other equipment are not needed, just small portable tools. Surefoot is the only system that can compete with concrete in normal building conditions, due to its great capacity in bending moment, which can be very low on screw piles.