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Case Studies

Alpha Foundations Case Studies: Magnolia Bay Condominiums - Panama City Beach, FL

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 by Lisa Scully


Alpha Foundation Specialists was contacted by General Contractor W.A. Yates to install Drive Rite 26000 Series 2-7/8" Schedule 80 Pipe Helical Piles at the Magnolia Bay Condominiums development at Panama City Beach, Florida.

The helical piles were installed to support an elevator shaft in the central portion of the condominium structure. Prior to contacting Alpha Foundation Specialists, steel driven piles and auger cast piles were tested and unable to generate the needed ultimate capacity of 70,000 foot-pounds.

W.A. Yates was under tremendous time constraints to finish the elevator shaft in order to continue with the remaining levels of the structure. The need for an engineered reliable method that could achieve the load requirements of the project left helical piles as the only remaining option. The ability of Alpha to mobilize equipment and prepare for the load testing allowed the project to move forward without additional costly delays.


Alpha Foundation Specialists reviewed the available soil information and determined that a helical configuration of 8"-10"-12"-14"-14" was needed to generate the required torque rating of 8,000 foot-pounds. Upon further investigation, Alpha determined that the steel driven piles and auger cast piles were unable to develop the necessary skin friction due to the large pockets of organic soil that did not provide the necessary soil resistance to achieve the project load requirements.

The initial helical designed called for 10 helical piles to be installed. Upon load test completion the project engineers determined that 15 piles would be necessary to provide the compression load, lateral load, and uplift requirements of the project. Alpha Foundation Specialists installed 15 Drive Rite 26000 Series helical piles to a torque rating of 8,000 foot-pounds.

The pile depths ranged from 60’ to 193’ in depth. Upon completion of the helical pile installation, a gravity fed grout mix was utilized to stiffen the connection couplings and provide additional lateral stability. The project was completed in 5 working days by Alpha.

Project Summary

Project Name: Magnolia Bay Condominiums

General Contractor: W.A. Yates

Foundation Contractor: Alpha Foundation Specialists, Inc.

About the author
Lisa Scully is the Marketing Manager with Alpha Foundation Specialists. Her mission is to educate you on the symptoms of and solutions to all types of foundation problems. To learn more about Lisa and Alpha Foundations, visit us at