Project Redwood

Installing Vibratory Stone Columns

Ground Improvement – Installing Vibratory Stone Columns


Project Redwood was an approximately 25-acre development in Bedford Park, IL for a new Home Depot Distribution Center that started March 1, 2021 and ended July 30, 2022. Due to existing urban fill at the site, ground improvement support was required across the entire building footprint, outdoor storage area, and new rail lines. CNC Foundations installed over 10,000 aggregate piers at the site to support a bearing pressure of 3,000 psf at foundations and up to 750 psf under slabs across the building and outdoor storage areas. CNC Foundations utilized multiple crews over a five (5) month period to install over 23 miles of Aggregate Piers, which came out to 10,840 Aggregate Piers!


CNC Foundations values difficult jobs, and this one brought upon some defining moments, but we were able to learn and overcome them. The size of the site brought on challenges because we had to properly staff the site, provide additional machinery in order to complete this large project in a timely manner. In addition, this site presented difficult ground conditions. The ground conditions consisted of urban debris, and we often ran into obstructions in the soil. For this reason, we ran a pre-drilling operation before installing the Aggregate Piers to ensure that design depth was met without any delay due to site conditions. 

The biggest hurdle CNC Foundations faced was communication. The challenge was overcome by maintaining solid communication between all of the people involved. What could have been an acrimonious struggle because of numerous third-party individuals, client team members, and different collaborators was managed very well due to an acute focus on communications.Our success was only accomplished because of the well-organized team effort consisting of our engineers, project management team, contractor, client engineering team, and the earthwork contractor on site. 


To become a first-choice partner with our client, we must have exemplary quality and craftsmanship. For Quality Assurance/Quality Control, we employ a third-party engineer on each site we install aggregate piers. This ensures that our installation meets the project criteria, determines load testing requirements, confirms results, and confirms installation is in compliance with their design. Additionally, by employing our On‐Board Computer System, which monitors the installation of the piers /columns, we are able to ensure a proper installation. This not only monitors the installation but ensures the piers have been properly installed. We are able to provide the paperwork from this system to the client, which acts as a “receipt” for each pier! 

Finally, we performed several Full‐Scale Load Tests to verify the capacity of the Aggregate Piers. These tests were performed on sacrificial piers to check the highest loading conditions in the worst soils area. With these measures, we are able to highlight to the client that we have performed a job that meets their needs and that was done so with excellent craftsmanship.

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