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Case Studies Uvita Development | Settled Model Home

Model Home Lifted 1 3/4 in. To Achieve Full Recovery

Uvita, Costa Rica

Known for its uncrowded beaches, ideal location, and the dramatic rainforest scenery of Marino Ballena National park, the up and coming small village of Uvita, Costa Rica is both scenically beautiful and culturally rich. It’s no surprise, then, that it is the site for numerous new communities of both permanent and vacation homes as well as destination resorts. The Whale’s Tail beach formation is one such community.

Situated on a 100 ft. high vertical slope of rainforest that opens into the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean, the Whale’s Tail community boasts numerous structures nestled into the steep side of the hill. While some of the ground was cut-and-fill from road work performed years ago, other parts were being graded during construction. The model building rested partially on solid ground and was partially cantilevered into the jungle over a small ravine. Unfortunately, the newly constructed building had settled about 1 3⁄4 in. around the overhang, and the doors and windows would no longer open and shut properly.

Proposed Solution
First, Ram Jack Centro America proposed installing four pre-construction piles to go under the hanging porch in the area of settlement. After further investigation into the soil conditions and considering the extreme rain that comes during the wet season, Ram Jack Centro America amended its original plan, recommending the addition of seven more repair brackets to the downhill side of the building. The 11 piles would be used to lift and support the structure prior to installing steel beams on four new construction brackets to keep everything soundly in place. Prior to beginning any work, eight temporary piles would be needed to support the building during work and maintain the safety of the crew.

Working through torrential rain among the louder-than-life howler monkeys of the rainforest, the Ram Jack Centro America team installed 11 piles to an average depth of 40 ft. Two 20-ton bottle jacks on 4021 brackets lifted the building the complete 1 3⁄4 in. of settlement. Ram Jack then installed metal columns atop the four new construction brackets below the cantilever deck, the temporary jacks were easily pulled out, the structure was level and stable, and all windows and doors opened and closed easily.

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