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Repairing historic structures adds new layers of complexity to any project; providing foundation support to these spaces is no different. When a project in the 1950s originated with Arts and Architect Magazine and master architect Peter Koenig, one can be sure that all eyes would be on the repair and restoration of this Case Study House #21. The homes built in the series of Case Study Homes were to show the ability to build affordable homes in the post-war era where housing was limited.

PROBLEM: When the restoration team removed the concrete slab, they were surprised to see the soil under the foundation slid away and left an 18 in. gap between the foundation and the slab. They also measured a 2 in. horizontal movement in some areas of the structure. Under the guidance of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, Designer Mark Haddaway and Engineer John Labib with John Labib & Associates designed the plan which included new grade beams, supporting existing footings, and providing new support to the reflective pools on the property. With a great understanding of helical piles, the team specified Ram Jack Helical Piles which were then approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission. They were especially pleased that the original foundation could be saved and repaired rather than replaced—further preserving the historic home.

PROPOSED SOLUTION: The design and engineer team designed a grid of Ram Jack Helical Piles on both the interior and exterior. The design was to ensure no additional horizontal movement to the structure over time. Special care would need to be taken when installing the (60) 2 7/8 in. helical piles with 8”-12” double helix configuration as the excavator would have just enough clearance to install the piles without damaging the existing corrugated steel roof or steel beam supports. OUTCOME Ram Jack SoCal installed the piles to specification. On the interior new construction brackets were installed to support the new additional grade beams. On the exterior, new construction brackets were installed to support the newly poured reflective pools. The entire perimeter received side load repair brackets. The project went smoothly and took five weeks to complete.

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