Foundation engineering and anchoring

NGI makes a significant effort internationally to develop new foundation concepts for offshore structures, often in areas with less favorable and challenging ground conditions. The main challenge for offshore geoengineering and engineering is to handle the large cyclical loads that structures and foundations are exposed to from waves and wind.

Today, NGI is one of the leading suppliers to the offshore wind industry, covering activities from the earliest concept and final evaluation stage through FEED and detailed design to installation and operation. Our experience in foundation design covers all foundation and anchor concepts: monopiles, suction caissons/buckets, piled jackets, gravity base structures, and anchors for floating wind.

Our capabilities include an extensive suite of design tools, from calibrated analytical solutions to complex 3D finite element analysis soil-structure interaction models, allowing our projects to benefit from optimal solutions.


Installation of circular skirts using negative pore pressure (suction) led to the development of suction bucket foundations as an alternative to piles and, later, to suction anchors used to secure floating platforms. The video above explains this concept.

Research and development

The challenges and NGI's research in offshore foundation engineering are currently concerned With:

software development - for example calculation of the holding capacity of skirt foundations/suction anchors, soil structure interaction
model testing and behaviour of pipelines and flexible pipes in soft clay
decommissioning and relocation of offshore installations
geotechnical aspects of offshore wind farms
new challenges from greater sea depths with softer sediments

Suction bucket concept

Together with our clients, NGI develops and improves foundation concepts in challenging conditions, which can be validated through NGI's instrumentation and monitoring services. NGI's leading role in advancing offshore geotechnics is evidenced by our diligent work in numerous committees covering the development and update of international standards and regulations.

Portrait of Victor Bjørn Smith

Victor Bjørn Smith

Senior Engineer Marine Geotechnics
+47 988 79 810
Portrait of Sarah Elkhatib

Sarah Elkhatib

Principal Engineer Integrated Geotechnology
+47 41399260
Portrait of Catalina Maldonado

Catalina Maldonado

President NGI Houston
+1 713 454 3525
Portrait of Noel Boylan

Noel Boylan

Managing Director NGI Perth
+61 499 800 354