Modular Foundation Systems  

Modular foundation systems offer a cost and time saving foundation solution that compliments both traditional and modular building techniques. 

As a modern method of construction these processes focus on off-site techniques to speed up delivery, reduce labour costs and eliminate unnecessary waste. It improves quality though the controlled manufacturing process and standardised design which offers an alternative to traditional building techniques.  

Using precast elements or pre-welded beams as modular foundation systems reduce environmental impact and waste while enabling ‘just in-time’ deliveries’ and offering a certified foundation solution.  

Precast and pre-welded elements save valuable time on site as the product is ‘dry’ and no time is needed to wait for product stabilisation, also allowing it to be non-weather dependent. Surrounding buildings and structures are less likely to be disrupted, due to the reduced noise and vibration as there is no need for shallow excavation.  

The lack of soil disturbance which comes with most modular foundation systems means that they can overcome challenging ground conditions, including heave and contaminated soils. They can also be used in areas where piled foundations are not suitable due to earthworks instability, buried structures or shallow mine workings. 

What are modular foundation systems commonly used for? 

Smartfoot® Van Elle’s high-quality factory-produced precast modular foundation system, uses post-tensioning technology to connect the beams, meaning you can move onto the next phase of construction straight away. The design of Smartfoot® is simple and quick to install and creates less waste compared to trench fill foundations.  

All of these features make it a great foundation solution to developers on both residential and commercial building projects due to the savings in time and waste, without compromising on the product.  

Modular foundations can also be used in both rail, highways and communication industries through our Smartbase® and Precast Concrete Foundations, which is specifically designed to support rails systems structures from shunt signals through to cantilevers and portals. And our, Steel Modular Grillages, which are a flexible eco-friendly foundation solution that can be used for motorway gantries, telecommunication towers and overhead line, electrification masts. 

The techniques Van Elle offer are: 

  • Smartfoot® Precast Modular Foundations – Smartfoot® is Van Elle’s high-quality factory-produced precast modular foundation system, uniquely incorporating post-tensioning technology to connect the beams. It is fast, strong, accurate, safe and sustainable solution for a wide range of applications as a modern method of construction. 
  • Smartbase® and Precast Concrete Foundations – Smartbase® and Precast Concrete Foundations, a modular foundation system, has many advantages within the rail sector over in-situ concrete foundations. These systems have been used extensively to overcome locations with earthworks instability, buried structures or shallow mine workings where a piled foundation is not suitable. 
  • Steel Modular Grillages – Grillages are a flexible and eco-friendly foundation solution. They are used to connect groups of piles and replace the traditional concrete pile cap with direct connectivity to structural elements. Grillages can be connected to helical, grip, concrete and CHS piles. 

What are the advantages of modular foundation systems? 

  • Modern method of construction (MMC) 
  • Smartfoot® is approved by the NHBC and is produced in an ISO accredited factory                                                                              
  • Flexible to suit individual design and piling layout 
  • Sustainable, as materials use, and waste are minimised 
  • ‘Just-in-time’ deliveries 
  • Reduced temporary works by removing requirements for formwork and propping 
  • Development of standardised solutions 

Why Van Elle?

We provide customers with a differentiated and highly professional service, including:

  • Integrated capability – an end-to-end service from ground investigation to the largest types of foundation engineering
  • The UK’s largest fleet of specialist rigs
  • A dedicated team – we deploy a directly employed workforce of more than 400 highly trained operatives
  • Innovation – we invest 10% of our expenditure in developing new techniques and applications
  • Expertise – we provide more than 25 geotechnical, ground improvement and piling techniques across the Group.