United States Capitol Visitor Center - Drilled Shafts, Utility Conflicts, And Communication

Bonita, Giovanni A.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
The United States Capitol Visitor Center (USCVC) is one of the largest underground structures ever constructed in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The 600,000 ft2 (55,750 m2) structure is entirely underground and immediately adjacent to the shallow foundations of the existing U.S. Capitol building. Interior building columns for the USCVC were supported on 186 drilled shafts that varied in diameter from 4 to 9 ft (1.2 to 2.9 m) and in length from 15 to 45 ft (4.6 to 13.7 m). The vast majority of the building utilities were located beneath the basement floor slab. It was decided at the onset of the project to proceed with construction prior to completion of the design drawings, and coordination between the underslab utilities and the drilled shafts had not yet been finalized at the onset of drilled shaft installation. Given depth and location restrictions of the outlets, relocation of the bulk of the utilities was not possible. Almost half of the drilled shafts were affected, leaving redesign as the most feasible remedial solution. The redesign involved adjustments to the shaft length, diameter, and bell. It took place on a case-by-case basis, sometimes only minutes before installation began. Coordination between the field and design team was excellent, and delay associated with the redesign efforts was minimal. In addition, the detailed, high-quality field records kept by both the contractor and field engineers allowed for accurate and fair estimations of the added drilled footage and concrete volumes placed. The additional service fee, which was minimal, was settled quick and fair.
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