Tel: 01727 821 282 email:

ScrewFast are recruiting!

Structural Engineers

Enthusiastic, motivated people to work on market leading design project portfolio with 3+ years’ experience in structural design of steel structures and steel connections. Right candidate should be proficient in AutoCAD, have good knowledge of Eurocode 3 and Eurocode 0, and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Geotechnical Engineers

Enthusiastic motivated people to evolve geotechnical excellence in this sector  with 3+ years’ experience in geotechnical design of foundations. Right candidate should have a good knowledge of foundation design to Eurocode 7 and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

ScrewFast assists Osborne Junior Engineer to achieve top marks!

ScrewFast have assisted Mark Howe, a Junior Engineer from Osborne, a leading UK Civils contractor with his dissertation.  Mark spent time with ScrewFast researching the design, fabrication and installation of screwpiles and has been awarded a distinction for his efforts!

ScrewFast are proud to assist with Mark’s achievement and will be closely watching his future progress.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Screw Piles

You already know that screw piling is a technique for building foundations in a variety of soil types.  Here are 5 facts about it that may surprise you…

1.  Screw Piles are perhaps the most underrated foundation engineering feat of the 19th century

Original Patent Application, US3986 by Alexander Mitchell.

Original Patent Application, US3986 by Alexander Mitchell.


Screw Piles enabled lighthouses to be built in shallow water under challenging soil conditions.  At a time with limited engineering techniques, these lighthouses were an integral part of getting ships to harbour safely.  Screw  piles also enabled  bridges and  piers to be constructed in varying soil density, which changed the recreation patterns of society and boosted the economy. Towards the  end of the century, screw piles were also used to prevent existing foundations from sinking, such as the Town Hall in Great  Yarmouth, UK in 1882. Overall, their invention changed the face of our nation’s infrastructure, providing engineering techniques that enabled social and economic growth.


2.  Screw piles were used for building and removing foundations for the 2012 London Olympics.


This includes Lee Valley, Eton Dorney, Hadleigh Farm, BMX, and  the Water Polo Venue.  Foundations for 20,000 seats and almost  2,000 piles were installed, uninstalled and recycled (Foundations  for the Olympics Screwfast Foundations, Web. 4 Apr. 2014.)



 3.  Screw piles were used to construct Brighton Pier in 1866

West Brighton Pier

West Brighton Pier

Cast iron columns were screwed into the seabed, and  strengthened by lattices and girders.  This allowed the weight of  the promenade deck to be safely supported in the shallow water  and soft soil of Brighton Beach.


 4.     The man who invented Screw-piles was nearly blind with only four years of formal education.

Alexander Mitchell was an Irish brick manufacturer who had been losing his sight steadily since adolescence.  It is thought that the decline of his vision was a result of contracting smallpox.  By the time he was 21, he was completely blind. Despite these hurdles he married, had a successful business, and was elected to Associate membership of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1937.  He was elected a member in 1948, at which point he received the Telford Medal for his invention.


5.     Screw Piles were originally installed completely by hand, even in open sea.

Lithograph depicting screw pile installation by hand in open water.

Lithograph depicting a screw pile installation by hand in open water.


Today screw piles are drilled into the earth using powerful equipment with rotary hydraulic attachments and a torque capacity range of 5,000 to  500,000Nm.  A century ago, men on rafts would rotate the screw piles by hand. Wind and weather conditions often made this difficult for labourers, as  installation required that the screw piles be level in order to provide correct  foundation support.

Its Electrifying!

Spie ENS have appointed ScrewFast to assist them in the delivery of the Kirkby Orrell project, on behalf of Electricity North West to design, supply and install a combination of helical piles and Grip piles for 41no. wooden transmission line foundations and associated anchor stays, on the Kirkby to Orrell line.

Our works commenced on site at the end of March 2014 and are scheduled to be completed within a 9 week programme.

Foundations for the Olympics – Our Statistics

  • Lee Valley – 12,000 seats, 1067 piles to 8m. (8.5 kilometres of tube installed, uninstalled and recycled)
  • Eton Dorney – 500 seats, 61 piles
  • Hadleigh Farm – 500 seats, 190 piles
  • BMX – 2000 seats, 118 piles
  • Water Polo Venue – The building housed the pool and 5000 seats. 405 piles to average of 8.5m (3.5 kilometres of tube installed, uninstalled and recycled)

Note all sites were installed, uninstalled and recycled.

We provided foundations for 20,000 temporary seats at the Olympics.

Design Smart Motorways

ScrewFast Foundations were appointed by Costain, on behalf on the Highways Agency, to undertake the detailed design of 70 no. helical pile and Grip pile foundations for the M1 J28-31.  Structures encompassing MS4′s, MS3′s and Portal Gantries.

The scope of works also includes the production of Approval in Principle, Departure From Standard and Geotechnical Design Report Addendum documentation.  The design work got underway In December 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by July 2014.

Design Magic

Halcrow Hyder JV appoints ScrewFast to M1 J39-42 Design Smart Motorways, to complete the detailed design of helical pile and Grip pile foundations, for:

  • MS4′s
  • Superspan Gantries
  • Secondary Cabinet Platforms
  • ADS/DS Signs
  • CCTV structures

There are 86no. structures in total.

The scope of works also includes the production of Approval in Principle, Departure From Standard and Geotechnical Design Report Addendum documentation.  The design work began in May 2013 and is scheduled to be completed and approved by May 2014.

Barking Substation

ScrewFast have successfully completed the design, supply and installation of helical piles and steel grillages at Barking 400kV Substation, supporting numerous structures throughout the site.  The works were completed in 2 phases spanning 2012-2014.

Comparisons where taken between the use of steel and concrete, considering the whole life and direct project benefits.  Helical piles demonstrated significant gains in Value for Money, Installation and Performance.

During the works, tests were performed to investigate the effects of stray current and the steel pile and grillage acting as sacrificial member. Following some collaborative design innovation with our client (SEESA) the tests conclusively removed any doubt of the possibility of stray current.

The SEESA Team at Barking Substation recently collected the SEESA Project of the Year Award. ScrewFast have been thanked for their valuable contribution to the scheme.

Portal Gantry Foundations.

Portal Gantry Foundations like MS3 & MS4 Motorway sign Foundations can be fixed using the traditional Concrete Pilling method however industry experts have, for quite some time, preferred to utilize ScrewFast`s Helical Pilling method due to massive savings in cost, manpower, materials, and time combined with the health and safety and ecological benefits that this process provides.

Helical pile Portal Gantry Foundations Support many structures that we encounter in our daily lives and provide completely safe, solid bases that can be rapidly installed at considerably less cost than their Concrete pile counterparts.

Portal Gantry 1Portal Gantry 2

The above Road and Railway structures are a perfect example of situations in which the ScrewFast Helical Pile Portal Gantry Foundation method can be used in the modern world where safety, cost and rapid installation and removal are at the very top of the general public’s requirements and expectations.

If you require our Portal Gantry Foundation solutions contact ScrewFast today.


What are GRIP Piles?

Piles are used in many forms of construction where deep, secure fixings are required in soil or rock for foundation purposes enabling engineers to safely and securely attach structures or materials to the protruding end of the embedded Pile fixing.

The patented steel GRIP Pile technology is a variation on the commonly used micro-pile offering a significant advantage over the micro-pile primarily due to the fact that its design negates the need for a grout pump.  Instead, GRIP Pile technology utilises a nylon tipped plunger which creates many times more pressure that any grout pump is capable of producing to force the site-mixed grout into the open pile tubing and out of specially designed exit holes, at the end of the pile tubing.

The extreme pressure created by the above mentioned GRIP Pile nylon-tipped plunger ensures that a competent and consistent column of grout encases the pile shaft in all types and consistencies of soil.

If you are interested in using our patented steel GRIP Pile technology contact ScrewFast Foundations Ltd today.

Balfour Beatty Associate National Highways Agency Approved Osbourne Associate Kier Associate