Underpinning and other Specialty Support Systems are probably the most complex, challenging, and exciting part of the entire construction industry. The knowledge required is substantial in this very technical undertaking, and it is certainly no job for amateurs!

Some elderly buildings can deteriorate substantially in their foundations.  This can cause cracks to appear in walls, doors to become stiff, stuck, or inoperable in their frames, windows to stick, just like the doors, or even crack.

An old parable reads “build your house not upon sand, but upon the rock that it might stand forever.” We’ve certainly taken that message to heart.

Long before problems become this serious, owners can work with contractors to reinforce and level their buildings to eliminate these problems.  This small-scale work can prevent water leakage, or further deterioration, or even complete structural failure.

Underpinning: King-sized Problems

Imagine how the complexity increases with a very large, tall building. Modern high-rises use sophisticated techniques to penetrate right to the bedrock.  If you took away all the surrounding soil, they would still stand quite comfortably on their underpinning. Older buildings, on the other hand, using older techniques, might not be as robust.

That tiny, ancient bank (in the image) cannot simply be demolished, and then the pink crosshatching portion unceremoniously removed to make way for a foundation for another tower. There are all sorts of forces operating on the surrounding buildings, such as gravity, wind, and even subterranean forces like tectonic movement. Take that material away, and they might experience cracks and buckle in their parking garage, for example.

The buildings themselves are sturdy and aren’t going to fall over, but there are water, electrical, sewage, and data services that can be interrupted by shifting ground. Surrounding the buildings are streets and pedestrian accesses. All this must be protected so that people, workers, property, and infrastructure are safe.

Types of Underpinning

That protection comes in the form of temporary (during construction) or permanent support structures or enhancements, and additional underpinning for neighboring structures, if required. Those tremendous forces are distributed so that you can, in fact, dig out that big hole and lay a proper foundation without endangering workers, property, or your neighbors.

Relationships between owners of different structures aren’t the same as speaking to your neighbor over the back fence. They can be intricate, complex, and involve many parties, as well as legal obligations such as JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) regulations. Not to worry, however, because our experienced team is very familiar with these situations; we’ve successfully negotiated, resolved, and executed hundreds of situations just like this. Our very best quality is our flexibility in design and installation to make sure the job gets done safely and properly.

The Takeaway on Underpinning

Oscar Orduno, Inc. is your go-to expert for underpinning and specialty foundations, earth retention systems, retaining walls, or shotcrete applications.  We always aim for the highest quality results and try to exceed industry standards on all of our projects. We bring engagement, passion, and expertise to every job.

Our goal is always to minimize unnecessary disruption to your neighbors, other tradespeople, and people in the vicinity; to keep everyone safe during the construction process; to operate in a manner to ensure the utmost protection to your structures and property.  We make sure that we pay attention to all the details, so when the project is finished you can be sure that it was done right!

We cover most of the state, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Lubbock, Amarillo, Tyler, and Waco.  You’ll see our signature orange equipment in most of those places, and many more!  We’d love to hear you say “Howdy”, so take a moment and get in touch.

4600 Fuller Drive, Suite 375,

Irving, TX 75038



For that occasion when you don’t want the earth to move!

Oscar Orduno, INC.