When soil and loading conditions are right, ground improvement can be a cheaper and faster alternative to deep foundations (pile). H.B. Fleming typically uses vibro stone columns (VSCs) or rigid inclusions/controlled modulus columns to increase the bearing capacity of in situ soils and limit settlement to acceptable levels.

The basis for whether VSCs or rigid inclusions are an appropriate solution is governed by subgrade soil conditions and by specific loading conditions. Some soil profiles and loading conditions lend themselves to VSCs. In some cases, grouted VSCs are required. In particularly weak soils, rigid inclusions may be needed.

One of the advantages of these types of ground improvement is their ability to provide a defined, improved soil-bearing capacity at working grade, so foundations can be constructed using the same methods as conventional shallow foundations. Another advantage of VSCs and rigid inclusions over other types of ground improvement is that no spoils are generated. This is an important consideration in situations where contaminated soils may be present.

The vibratory driver/extractor we use to install the stone columns is powered by an RTG RG-19T, a state-of-the art universal piling rig with an on-board computer system that monitors and records VSC installation parameters.

Projects Including Ground Improvement

Ground Improvement: Maine Veterans Homes

Owner: Maine Veterans Homes Partner: Cianbro/VJS Construction Services Type: Commercial Building Location: Augusta, Maine Project Description: H.B. Fleming provided foundation engineering for the construction of new memory care, long-term care, and assisted living facilities, and a new community center. Challenge: Design-build a deep foundation installation as a more cost-effective alternative to pile driving.  Solution: We installed…

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