We often perform ground improvement services for our clients. Ground improvement services involve improving soil conditions to provide a solid foundation for a building or structure. We typically perform these services by installing vibratory stone columns (VSCs), aggregate piers, and micropiles in the ground on our clients’ sites. Here are some examples of ground improvement services we have provided for our agricultural clients:
- We used aggregate piers to create a foundation for chemical storage tanks at an agricultural chemical plant after its project had fallen two weeks behind schedule. The urea, ammonia, and nitrogen (UAN) tanks were 176 inches in diameter, and they were designed to have a maximum of 2 inches of settlement around their edges after installation. Without ground improvement, the tanks would have 6 to 8 inches of settlement around their edges, which was more than they could handle. On top of that problem, the project started two weeks after its scheduled start date because very wet spring weather made soil conditions unsuitable for construction. That’s when we came in and installed the aggregate piers in the storage tanks’ foundations. Following our installation, the project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule, in spite of the delayed start date.
- A large agricultural chemical formulating and packing facility was building two additions to two different buildings 25 feet apart from each other. The site’s soil consisted of clays and soft fill sand that needed ground improvement applications to support the new additions. We installed VSCs throughout most of the additions’ foundations, but we used helical piles in limited access areas. We validated the installations with load testing and completed the project ahead of schedule.
- We installed micropiles to improve the ground at a grain processing plant in eastern Iowa during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plant’s soil was clay that became rock 20 feet below ground. This project presented a few specific challenges. Only so many of our team members could be present onsite due to COVID-19 restrictions. Also, the construction caused pipe rerouting at the plant that led to waste discharge occurring in the areas where we installed the micropiles. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and stoppages due to waste discharge, we completed the installations on time.