Assessing the stability of underlying soil during the design phase of a construction project is an instrumental step if you want to construct a stable, reliable structure while mitigating the chance of foundation failure later on. Many project timelines fail to account for this factor until later stages of the project when ground improvement options are more limited in scope or may lead to broader project delays. That’s why it’s critical to assess the strength of ground soil prior to the design phase of the project, so as project requirements are clarified, your team can align ground improvement planning with the intended use of the land.
For sites with inadequate soil strength, ground improvement columns are one of the most commonly employed strategies to immediately improve the shear strength of the soil while providing a reliable solution designed to withstand decades of settling and shifting soil. During the preliminary project planning phases, you need to first assess soil strength at the site. From there, you can decide if ground improvement columns are the right option for your project. If they are, you next need to understand the critical differences between the two primary types of ground improvement columns—aggregate piers and rigid inclusion piers.