November 22, 2010
U.S. Army Soldiers and their families at Fort Lee, Virginia will now have access to new temporary living quarters in 2012 as construction has begun on The Lodge at Fort Lee, a LEED®-Silver, 1000-room facility that utilized the ground improvement design-build services of specialty contractor GeoStructures.
The owner’s design-build team faced some of the same challenges on the Lodge site as with other projects on the base; an area comprised of soft, compressible coastal plain soils that are susceptible to substantial settlement from the load applied by new structures. For example, Logistics University and the five-building Central Campus complex, also used GeoStructures’ design-build services to reinforce the soft underlying soils to support the new construction.
To address the settlement concerns and expedite construction, general contractor The Korte Company contracted GeoStructures to design the ground improvement system. The plan called for Geopier® technology to reinforce the in-situ soils with the Impact Rammed Aggregate Pier (RAP) system. The roughly 2,500 RAP elements were used in both traditional and innovative ways.
The company put in place RAP elements as direct support for shallow spread footings over approximately one-fourth of the building’s footprint. However, the majority of the site was characterized by a low-lying area that required as much as 10 feet of new structural fill to reach the design subgrade elevation. To remedy the problems of the consolidation of the soft underlying soils, and any post-construction settlement, the Impact system was installed on a grid pattern prior to placement of the new fill. This enabled reinforcement of the soils, accelerated consolidation of the soft underlying soils, and provided better management of the post-construction settlement potential within the structure’s design tolerances.