Soil Nails

Soil nails can protect people by solving a variety of earth support and slope stability challenges. Soil nail systems are passive reinforcement of the existing ground. Nails are typically steel bars placed in a drilled hole and grouted. Nails can also be launched into the ground and consist of different materials. Construction is generally top-down, and the facing is installed in lifts consisting of shotcrete, concrete, or other materials.

Our design-build team can quickly evaluate a site and provide recommendations for options to remediate the geohazards and construct temporary or permanent retaining walls. Soil nails can be installed relatively rapidly and economically when compared to other methods such as “remove and replace” or soldier pile walls. The design of these systems is also quite flexible and can be adjusted in real-time by coordinating with our in-house design team to adjust to the reality of the field conditions. In many cases, soil nails are used in conjunction with shotcrete facing, although other facing options can be utilized by GeoBuild, depending on the project requirements.

Soil Nails for All Conditions

GeoBuild utilizes soil nails in a wide variety of soil conditions. If the soil is stable, we utilize open drilling methods and solid bars. However, in collapsible soils, we can use temporary or permanent casing, or Supernails ™, a specialized approach that allows us to install soil nails without the use of casing, resulting in a more economical solution.

Additionally, we have the ability to launch soil nails in lieu of traditional drilled methods. Launched soil nails are dynamically installed via a compressed air tool. They accomplish a similar engineering function as traditional soil nails in that they reinforce a soil mass. By launching nails into soil, a shock wave is generated, whereby the nails penetrate the earth without damage to the structural composition or corrosion protection of the element. The soils then re-confine around the soil nail, resulting in a strong interaction between the soil matrix and the nail.

Advantages of Soil Nails

  • Versatile: Easily adjusted for subsurface conditions due to various installation methods and design redundancy
  • Constructed in a wide variety of soil and rock conditions
  • Easy to install along irregular surfaces
  • Ideal for tight/difficult access, high/low reach, low overhead conditions, and lateral obstructions
  • Minimal noise and vibrations are generated during construction
  • Can be designed for limited space compared to gravity, cantilevered, or anchored wall systems
  • Can be used as a backform for new structures/foundations
  • Shotcrete facing, used in conjunction with soil nails, can be sculpted to provide a decorative permanent retaining wall
Launched nails
Soil Nails for Roadways

Soil Nails for Roadways

Soil nails are used throughout the country on a wide variety of projects involving roadways. These projects range from local municipality roads all the way up to large-scale DOT projects. Applications for soil nails include roadway cuts, roadway widening, tunnel portals, and repairing existing retaining structures such as bridge abutments, just to name a few.

Soil nails for commercial applications

Soil nail walls can be a great option when developing or redeveloping project sites with steep slopes. By utilizing soil nail walls, the project can be safely built for long term performance and reliability. When soil nails are combined with finished decorative shotcrete facing or anchored mesh (which allows vegetation to grow), the systems are not only safe and economical, but also provide a visual feature as well.

Soil nails for residential applications

A person’s home is the biggest investment most people make in their lives. Unfortunately, many homes are situated near slopes which can experience movement and even failures. At GeoBuild, we take our mission of protecting people through the use of our innovative geotechnical solutions seriously. Soil nails are one of our best approaches for remediating slope issues impacting residential structures. We hope residents never have to experience this work, but if the need arises, we are here to guide you through every step of the design-build process.

We can often combine our soil nail services with GCS Walls or Gabion Walls in order to restore a flat and safe property for homeowners as well.

Soil nails for temporary shoring applications

Excavation is a critical part of many construction projects. Whether you are building a new roadway, hospital, school, or mixed-use development, it is often necessary to perform significant cuts of soil in order to facilitate the overall construction of the project. In many cases, it is costly or impractical to “lay back” the excavation at a safe angle based on the soil type. If this is the case, utilizing soil nails and shotcrete for temporary shoring provides a safe and economical advantage when compared to other systems such as soldier pile/lagging and secant pile walls in the right soil conditions.