RC Harris Water Filtration Plant Expansion Excavation Support Design, Installation And Performance

Janes, Matthew
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
The RC Harris Filtration Plant, which treats the majority of the fresh water for over 2.5 million Torontonians, is a Canadian Architectural Heritage site demonstrating a classic example of Art Deco Architecture. The facility is undergoing an expansion to install an underground sludge treatment capability. Perched atop a bluff on the North shore of Lake Ontario the structure enjoys a commanding presence on the Lake Ontario shoreline. A series of underground tanks were proposed for the hillside below the structure, which when covered would preserve the building?s architectural presence. However, the plan required two, stepped excavations 12 m and 10m deep into compact, wet sands over stiff clays and clayey silts. Concerns regarding the original structure influenced designers to set the lateral deflection limit for the front footing of the existing structure at 4 mm, (0.03% excavation depth). The design-build team indicated at the time of tender that the movement criteria was unattainable using the tender design. Analysis indicated installation effects and overall elastic movement of the soil mass beneath the building would result in movements of 7 to 9 mm at the structure. Through extensive FLAC analysis and a novel construction geometry the design-build team crafted an alternative that produced significant savings over the original concept. Based upon the analysis the design-build team negotiated a new deflection criteria dictating a maximum of 2.0 mm of movement across the critical expansion joint between the Filter Building front footing and the tank slab beyond. The contractor invested in additional pre tender soils investigation to support the refined design process. The FLAC analyses indicated the Filter Building movements would be elastic and distributed up to 50 m back beneath the front footing of the structure. An extensive precision monitoring program proved construction related movements of 6 to 10 mm horizontal at the front footing. Extensometers placed at two locations over the critical interior tank expansion joint showed no measurable movements. The overall monitoring program, including inclinometers, tilt meters, tie back extensometers (smart cables) and tie back load cells indicated a good match between recorded movements and loads and those predicted by FLAC Analysis.
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