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Soil at Fort Lee Required Reinforcement
April 1, 2009

One building at Fort Lee, Va. is on track to open this summer while construction on another has begun following the foundation support work by designbuild contractor GeoStructures.

For the first project, the U.S. Army’s Logistics University Education Building and Simulation Center, the company deployed Geopier® technology to stabilize the foundation soils at the site because of the soft, coastal plain soil and high ground water. The system included a combination of Geopier and Impact® Pier elements with unique uplift anchors to effectively counter the overturning forces of the tall structure. When it opens in July, the building will consolidate four of the Army’s logistics education sites in one place.

To be completed in 2010, the second Fort Lee project, Central Campus, is comprised of five buildings that required Geopier elements with some utilizing uplift anchors because of the structural compressive and lateral loads. Some are classroom and lab buildings, while others include four large vehicle bays used for training and maintenance by army personnel.

“The GeoStructures’ solution was quick and easy as compared to the deep foundation alternative, and it was cost effective, too,” says Stewart Gill, director of integrated projects at general contractor Balfour Beatty.

Concurs Nyle Hothem, Geo-Structures’ southeast regional manager, “The soils on the sites are quite varied, but our designbuild approach allowed us to provide the right combination of Geopier and Impact Pier elements in order to avoid any differential settlement. All the upfront engineering paid off in the end because the final solution really was implemented quickly.”

Fort Lee is one part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan, the multi-year effort to close 12 major military installations and reshape the infrastructure of the U.S. Department of Defense. At Fort Lee, the BRAC program is requiring creation of seven million square feet of office space at a cost of nearly $1 billion.

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