For more than 25 years, structural designers have been using Geopier Ground Improvement systems to provide intermediate foundation support for their projects. Thousands of projects, including; hospitals, office buildings, parking garages, and schools, bear on Geopier-reinforced soils, supporting column loads as high as 3,000 kips and at settlements that conform to the building’s structural requirements. 

T his paper presents the results from the installation of Geopier GeoConcrete® Column elements, a type of rigid inclusion, for support of a 14-story office building with adjacent 8.5 story pre-cast parking garage in New Haven, CT.
The project consists of supporting a 12-story structure with column loads up to 1,100 kips. The subsurface soil conditions at the project site consist of about 25 feet of very loose to very dense sand with varying amounts of silt, gravel, ash, and debris, underlain by up to 14 feet of compressible Alluvial deposits, followed by Glacial Outwash. Site access was limited and foundation elements were installed from two different site grades: the first was approximately 10 feet below surrounding grades and existing structures (including a brick building approximately 4 feet away from the proposed building footprint). The second was from atop an H-pile supported boardwalk constructed along the historic granite block flood wall.

In order to expedite construction and minimize impacts to the construction schedule, Geopier® GeoConcrete Column rigid inclusions were used for foundation support. By pre-augering through the debris-laden fill, high capacity elements could be installed down to glacial till with limited vibrations impacting the adjacent brick building and granite flood wall. Over 200 GCC elements were installed in 3 days. The cost savings associated with GCCs were greater than $500,000 (as compared to pressure injected footings (PIFs) and/or H-piles). The savings were a result of less expensive foundation installation, the ability to construct spread footings versus pile caps, and an expedited construction schedule. 
When I visit the family in the old country, many of our conversations start with “the problem is….”. No matter the topic, they love to talk about all the difficulties that the world has in solving the issues around us, whether that be societal, political, social, or any other topic other than “fussball.” The debates are endless as the participants recharge with coffee and strudel to fuel the next round finding more problems. 

Sometimes I think that our (slightly aging) profession does this a bit as well. We Geos are really skilled at identifying and describing the problems that exist with our geo environment and associated construction industries.  Our leaders have seen it all, or, rather, know that they haven’t, and we douse our proposed solutions with an appropriately large helping of “the problem is” hot sauce designed to keep the lawyers at bay and reputations intact.  We then meet at the coffee pot to identify all the causes of our problems – unreasonable owners, short budgets, unreasonably demanding schedules, shortages of available talent…the old country list goes on.  

Did you know Geopier systems allow for higher bearing pressure, smaller footing results and can lead to 50% concrete savings? Download Geopier's 2019 Geopier Advantage Calendar
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