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Case Studies Ram Jack Helical Piles Help Hospital Replace Electrical Feeders

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 magnitude.


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.

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