Repairs Of Diaphragm Walls, Lessons Learned

Poletto, Raymond J.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
This paper describes the special problems that occur with the construction of diaphragm walls and discusses the lessons learned during the repairs of structural walls. Although diaphragm or slurry wall technology and equipment has vastly improved since its development in the late 1950?s, significant problems still occur. Key issues are repairs related to panel joints between wall panels, concrete defects associated with tremie concrete problems, leaks and other defects at tieback reservations or inserts, wall leaks within the plane of the wall and surface repairs. The paper supports the position that diaphragm walls are relatively watertight when properly constructed, but cautions that it is necessary to address potential problems in the design stage and allow for flexibility in construction so that the problems that occur can be corrected once encountered. Due to the fast track nature of most projects the time available for design, detailing and construction is limited. As a result, insufficient attention to detail by any of the responsible parties can lead to imperfections and defects in the wall. The authors describe the nature of these problems and their potential resolution based on ?lessons learned.? The timely response to wall problems is essential to the successful completion of a diaphragm wall project. Appropriate repairs have resulted in largely successful jobs starting with the World Trade Center in New York City. The authors? total 80 years of experience as the engineer of record and designer, inspector and contractor?s representative for the diaphragm wall results in a unique insight to deal with these problems.
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