Low-Carbon, Chemical-Free Systems

By Posted in - Exterior Products & Black Pine Resources on September 22nd, 2021

Our work is aimed at improving people’s lives, so we’re always looking to incorporate low-carbon, chemical-free solutions into our projects.  Thankfully more solutions are surfacing all the time, including for foundation design. 

Screw piles are one way of addressing foundations.  Installed with a large ‘drill’, either large ‘screws’ or shaft-mounted helix blades are screwed into the ground.  Similar to that swing-ball set you had as a child, but on a grand scale.

A relatively recent addition to our suite of choices here in New Zealand, is a micro pile or pin pile system:

The system mimics a tree’s root system. A series of steel micro piles are driven with a jackhammer in a battered array, resulting in a very efficient transfer of load. The footings are chemical free, containing no materials or toxins that will contaminate the soil.

Surefoot Foundation System

The head of this system can be concrete or steel, with its key action to direct the micro-piles in different directions and hold them firm.


The system’s design allows a footing to have instant bearing capacity, unlike concrete where we must wait days for it to cure before proceeding with construction.

Clean & Efficient:

This efficient transfer of load and uplift forces, and the piles’ instant bearing capacity require no digging or excavation, thereby allowing for little soil disturbance. This allows a tremendous saving in time, labour, material, and project cost – and maintains the natural integrity of the site.

The system allows you to, as legendary architect Glenn Murcutt would say, ‘touch the earth lightly’.

The pile caps provide a stable, robust, and economical footing that are specifically designed to increase efficiency when resisting imposing loads.  They have the capacity for any soil type.

With the addition of a fully adjustable stump system that is able to be braced, the system provides a complete sub-floor foundation system, permanent or temporary.  The stump system’s versatility minimises cut and fill on sloping sites as well – which saves on costs, labour, and time.

Because the system utilises fully adjustable footings, they can be tweaked once installed. This flexibility provides the ability to relevel the supported structure, should there ever be any land settlement across the site

Attributes & Benefits:

  • High strength
  • Cost effective
  • Quick to install
  • Minimal soil & site disturbance
  • Recyclable and reusable
  • Ideal for remote areas and difficult terrain
  • Green solution for low-carbon footing system
  • Suitable in any penetrable soil such as sand, silt clay, fine gravels, and even sedimentary rock
  • 50-year lifespan, 50-120 year lifespan likely
  • Piles can be moved after installation


  • Housing – ideal for sloping sites
  • Modular construction
  • Decking
  • Pergolas
  • Fencing
  • Shade structures/ sails
  • Playground equipment
  • Temporary structures


For more information about this type of foundation system in New Zealand, see:


Let Black Pine Architects assist you with incorporating this product into your next project.

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