Ground improvement is the use of mechanical means to improve weak or marginal soils and fills to support a structure. In order for a site to meet performance requirements, geotechnical engineers will consider ground improvement, deep foundations or the remove-and-replace method. But of these options, ground improvement is often the most economical and efficient way to support shallow foundations in marginal soils, assuming the soil conditions and structural loads are suited for it.
When ground improvement is used on a project, it can provide the required bearing pressure for the optimal footing size, reduce settlement and address seismic concerns with liquefaction mitigation. When implemented by an experienced geotechnical contractor, ground improvement can improve bearing capacity on projects ranging from multi-story buildings and MSE walls to liquid storage tanks and earthen embankments.
The phrase ground improvement encompasses many different techniques. The most prevalent method in the U.S. is aggregate piers, which are typically installed using either a vibratory or a ramming technique to compact the stone. The phrases aggregate piers and vibro stone columns are often used interchangeably. Other ground improvement techniques that Subsurface Constructors performs are vibro concrete columns, vibrocompaction and wick drains, depending on the soil conditions and settlement criteria.
Subsurface Constructors is one of the nation’s leading ground improvement contractors, with experience completing projects from coast to coast. Before installation begins, our engineers use their expertise and the available geotechnical information to determine which ground improvement method is the most feasible and most effective for your project. For implementation, we utilize a large fleet of ground improvement equipment. Subsurface Constructors has also designed and built custom high-frequency vibratory equipment that allows for more flexibility and efficiency in the mobilization and installation process.
Our engineers design and construct cost-effective ground improvement plans that fit your project requirements. We select the best-fit solution from our robust offerings of services, listed below:
Address poor soil conditions with cost-effective aggregate piers. The efficient installation of compacted stone columns can increase bearing capacity while minimizing spoils and reducing the risk of foundation settlement.
When soils lack the strength to provide lateral support, consider VCC ground improvement. These rigid inclusions improve bearing capacity on weak soils and allow the site to meet settlement criteria.
Mitigate the risk of seismic liquefaction and densify loose, sandy soils with vibrocompaction. Using a vibroflot, this ground improvement method mitigates liquefaction and increases bearing capacity.
To accelerate consolidation of the soil prior to placing a pre-load on your site, consider wick drains. They provide additional drainage paths for porewater, resulting in increased rate of settlement and soil shear strength.