Introducing VCE's: Support Of Excavation Without Tie-Backs

Deschamps, Rick
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
A reoccurring problem with support of excavations in urban areas involves the placement of external support components like anchors or nails in right-a-ways, subway and utility setbacks, in areas occupied by adjacent structures, and within the property of non cooperative neighbors. Such a situation occurred for a project in Arlington, Virginia, which ultimately resulted in the preliminary design of a large footing supported cantilever retaining wall that was extremely costly and impractical to build. An innovative design alternate consisting of a series of vertical concrete elements (VCEs) supported by post tensioned tiedowns was proposed to the General Contractor and accepted by the owner. The VCEs were designed to serve as the main structural elements for both the temporary support of excavation system and the permanent wall. The VCE?s were constructed using single bite diaphragm wall panels oriented perpendicular to the excavation face including a rebar cage and tremie concrete. Threaded inserts were placed within the rebar cage to attach the cast in place exterior wall. Overall stability and lateral movement of the VCEs were controlled by high capacity vertical anchors embedded within the VCE. A detailed instrumentation program was installed to monitor the movements of the VCEs with relation to the excavation depth. The paper present the project case history by discussing the design concepts of the VCE, the construction approaches used to install them, the construction challenges encountered, and the performance of the unique system.
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