Union County Vocational Schools Case Studies
Situation: The existing school was built slab-on-grade. The architect’s new
design called for an addition with a full depth basement 15 feet deeper
than the original structure. This would in the end require that a three-foot
wall be extended 15 feet. The school had contacted several companies in
the area, none of which were willing to take on such an unusual job or
the inherent liability. They needed more space, had the vision, the plans,
and the funding but no way to carry them out. Of course, time was also
of the essence, as the school couldn’t accommodate students during
the expansion. Enter Scott McKay and Ram Jack of the Tri-States.
Solution: After assessing the situation, it was determined that the only course
of action would be to install 56 Ram Jack commercial brackets with deep
driven steel piers. Ram Jack installed custom-built 16-feet long guide
sleeves and 2-7/8” deep-driven powder-coated carbon steel pipe to
load the bearing strata 40 feet below grade, thus stabilizing the wall.
Two feet below the brackets, they installed the first row of tiebacks
every 4 feet, resulting in 3 tiebacks per each driver pier. Essentially,
they dug out in 5-foot increments, put tiebacks in and attached wire with
about 8 inches of shotcrete underneath, tied everything together, effectively
building one wall all the way around, encasing all of the piers. Because
the soil was a fill, this was the only way to bring the wall down the
required 15 feet. The only alternative for the Vocational School would
have been to do without the basement and build on a slab once again.
Conclusion: It is always important to have the right tool for the job. In this case,
Ram Jack Foundation Solutions had to creatively devise a solution and
custom build the tools to ensure that this was the case. “It is
always gratifying to see that we can build any type of bracket for the
most difficult installations, while still accomplishing the job quickly,
with little or no down time,” said Scott McKay, Ram Jack of the
Tri-states. This unusual job resulted in the use of 224 piers and took
only 20 days to complete. In the end, the Union County Vocational School
wound up with a new addition, complete with basement that will serve them
well for years to come.
Download the full case study in PDF format.