When difficult ground conditions are encountered, there are several alternatives that can be employed to achieve project objectives.

  • completely abandoning the site for another location
  • bypassing the poor soils by using a deep foundation system
  • removing and replacing the unsuitable soils
  • designing the structure to accommodate the poor/marginal soils
  • modifying (improving) the existing soils, either in-place or by removal, treatment, and replacement.

Through a wide variety of modern ground improvement and geo-construction technologies, marginal sites and unsuitable in-situ soils can be improved to meet demanding project requirements, making the latter alternative an economically preferred solution in many cases. The modern builder has the option to fix the poor ground conditions and to make them suitable for the project’s needs.

Selecting the appropriate ground improvement technique for a project requires knowledge, hands-on experience, and skills in a variety of ground improvement approaches. Subsurface conditions can vary greatly within a single site and the characteristics of the in-situ soil play a crucial role in determining which ground improvement method to use. Here’s where AFT can help.

We provide consultation and construction monitoring related to special soil improvement procedures which include surcharges, soil grouting, deep dynamic compaction, vibro-densification, rammed aggregate piers (Copyright®, Geopier), Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC)TM  – a trademark of Soletanche Freyssinet, wick drains, etc.

Our Geotechnical engineers have experience with numerous ground improvement project types including:

  • Increasing bearing capacity, shear or frictional strength
  • Increasing density
  • Controlling deformations
  • Accelerating consolidation
  • Decreasing imposed loads
  • Providing lateral stability
  • Engineered Fill / Filling voids
  • Earth Retention Inspection
  • Instrumentation

Our ground improvement methods have been found to provide benefits in the following five major areas:

  • Utilization of less costly foundation system
  • Reduction in right-of-way acquisition
  • Less environmental disturbance
  • Reduction in construction time
  • Improved traffic control through construction zones


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