Ram Jack Helical Piles Help Hospital Replace Electrical Feeder
San Diego, California
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego needed to replacetheir backup main electrical distribution feeders. This was
critical for the safety of all in-hospital patients.
During the replacement phase, the hospital required abackup power supply to guarantee uninterrupted power
and no downtime. This temporary power came in the form
of a large generator the size of a shipping container. The
Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
(OSHPD), which regulates all hospital construction, requires
seismic protection on all projects of this nature and
AARK Engineering Inc. is a well-known name across themedical industry, and Ram Jack has worked with them
many times in the past. The engineering firm specified
helical tie-downs, owing to their small footprint and rapid
installation time. The team would need to drive down
eight (8) helical piles - four on either side of the generator.
These would then need to be tied to each corner of the
generator’s trailer using galvanized, heavy-duty aircraft cable,
along with Chicago Hardware’s drop-forged wire
rope clips. This was a crucial part of the process to keep the
generator from moving during a seismic event such as an
earthquake. While the original plan was to tie two helical
piles to each corner of the trailer, certain underground
utilities forced the team to make a swift new plan of action.
We had to determine another appropriate location for
the other two helical piles. So, the team installed eight
(8) helical piles to a minimum of 7 ft. below grade and at45 degrees. Other piles were installed at various relevant
angles from each corner of the generator trailer. Three (3)
helical piles were installed on two of the corners, and one
on the other two corners. The electric company that was
contracted to install and run the generator stayed on-site
to observe the installation. A third-party engineering firm
further verified the installation process. Once Ram Jack was
satisfied with the new helical pile locations, the team tied
each one to the trailer using heavy-duty galvanized aircraft
cable, as planned.
By the end of the project, the generator was success fullyanchored to the ground and all risk was eliminated during
the renovation period. After this, Ram Jack returned to
remove all piles and cables.
Download full version in PDF format