Rammed Aggregate Pier System Provides Uplift Resistance At University Ice Arena

DiGenova, John G.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
The Allwell Center Ice Arena at Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire is located in the flood plain of the Pemigewasset River. To maintain the arena near the level of the surrounding area, foundation design required use of uplift elements to resist hydrostatic loads caused by frequent flood conditions. Soils beneath the arena consisted of very loose to medium dense alluvial deposits overlying thick glaciolacustrine deposits. Bedrock was encountered at depths of 115 feet (35 m) or more. A mat foundation with a sealed building system was developed for the arena to guard against flood events. Several alternatives were investigated to provide uplift capacity for the mat foundation, including the Rammed Aggregate PierĀ® (RAP) system, driven precast-prestressed concrete piles, driven H-piles, and deep drilled soil/rock anchors. Evaluations indicated that the most cost effective uplift solution was a tension RAP system that developed uplift resistance in the shallow alluvial deposits. A total of 344 55-kip (245-kN) capacity RAP elements were required for the project. The RAPs were designed to resist tensile loads using threaded steel bars. Dual corrosion resistance was provided to the uplift elements by including sacrificial steel and galvanizing the oversized bars and connection plates. A pre-construction test program was conducted on RAP elements drilled to a depth of approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) and installed using various shaft construction procedures and materials. Ten test piers were constructed and six were tested to verify that the piers could resist 200 percent of the design load with measured deflections of less than 1 inch (25 mm). The RAP system also provided improved bearing conditions for the perimeter wall and mat foundations by densifying and stiffening the upper alluvial soils.
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