Mining for Building Expansion

by Richard M. Croswell, (M.ASCE), Sr. Assoc.; Symmes, Maini & McKee Assoc., Cambridge, MA,
Robin B. Dill, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Haley & Aldrich Inc., Cambridge, MA,
John Booth, Facilities Civ. Engr.; IBM, Burlington, VT,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 12, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers adapted mining techniques to tunnel under a vibration sensitive manufacturing operation to create new working space below. IBM workers needed more working space at their Vermont semiconductor facility and the optimum space was below the manufacturing floor. Local codes required an emergency exit to the new space, which meant that tunneling was necessary. Consultants looked at several ways to create the exits without disrupting operations. Design and construction had to be completed within one year. Techniques used were jet grouting and installing soil dowels in an arch beneath the first floor slab, then excavating beneath, using steel rib sets as support and as part of the permanent structure. Tiebacks were also used to support the excavation area and adjacent walls. The tunnel arch was only a few feet below the first floor slab. Contractor suggestions were incorporated and with close cooperation between the owner, the design team and the contractor, work was successfully completed on time.

Subject Headings: Floors | Mines and mining | Manufacturing | Soil grouting | Arches | Slabs | Excavation | Steel structures | Vermont | United States

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