Mega Bearing Elements

What are Mega Bearing Elements?

Mega Bearing Elements (MBEs) are comprised of a number of similarly sized CFA Mega Piles placed tangentially or in groups to meet various column and sheer wall loads on a project. The number of combinations is endless to ensure the different compression, tension, and lateral load combinations can be met at each part of the structure.
MBEs can be utilized as an alternative to large-diameter drilled shafts, load bearing elements (LBEs), and other deep foundation elements to meet large building load demands. MBEs are combined with an efficient pile cap design that allows for a faster installation method, provides similar support of heavy structures, and reduces the size of connections between foundation elements and the structure above.

Like CFA Mega Piles, MBEs can be installed with top drive rotary drilling rigs to depths of 125 feet up to 60 inches in diameter and with crane mounted lead systems to 170 feet. This method utilizes one continuous auger which is drilled into the ground. After reaching pile tip, the auger is extracted while fluid concrete or grout is pumped through the hollow stem auger to fill the hold under positive pressure. Rebar is installed into the completed pile after the auger is removed. Then, to create the MBE, the process is repeated directly adjacent to, and touching, the previously installed CFA Mega pile.

This method is vibration-free and utilizes an automated monitoring system during the installation, which controls and records all the drilling parameters in real-time.


Why use Mega Bearing Elements?

MBEs are utilized so that the foundation system can be optimized to better meet the different load combinations required while avoiding the installation of multiple different foundation elements or pile diameters. This method allows for the most cost-effective and time-efficient solution for a challenging foundation system.

MBEs provide an excellent alternate foundation solution to support tall or slender buildings in urban environments, on construction sites with limited access, and in close proximity to adjacent structures.

In the South Florida market, the use of MBEs reduces the cost of excavation and the risk of dewatering due to smaller pile caps for heavy structures in high groundwater areas.

Overall Benefits of Mega Bearing Elements

  • Can be installed in a wide range of configurations to handle various combinations of high compression, tension, and lateral loads.
  • Typically installed with the same equipment as the rest of the deep foundation system.
  • An extremely efficient alternative foundation solution to support heavily point loads (column), or linear loads (shear walls).
  • Faster and more cost-effective solution, including the potential for reduced pile cap thickness.
  • Reduces the dewatering risk during pile cap excavation, forming, and pouring.
Malcolm Drilling