Rigid inclusions are unreinforced concrete columns installed in soft soils to support a structure with shallow foundations. They’re not directly connected to the structure they support, so they are considered ground improvement elements. When we install these inclusions, we put the concrete or grouted columns in place first, then add a layer of granular material called a load transfer platform on top of each column. This platform balances the load between the columns and the surrounding soil. Rigid inclusions often work best in very soft soil profiles such as organic soil, soft clay, or loose sands.
Aggregate piers are columns of compacted stone. We install them in groups into soft soil profiles that require densification and reinforcement to support the building loads. We often use aggregate piers for ground improvement projects on sites that have soft clay, silt, or man-made fill soils. When we install these piers, we install compacted stone into a cavity created in the soil, and force the compacted rock into the surrounding soil. These piers provide the ground modifications needed to support a variety of structures, including agricultural facilities, manufacturing facilities, and multi-story commercial or government buildings.