Short Aggregate Piers Defeat Poor Soils

by Nathaniel S. Fox, Geopier Foundation Co. Inc., 769 Lake Drive, Lithonia, GA 30058,
Evert C. Lawton, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Utah, 3220 Merrill Engrg. Bldg., Salt Lake City, UT 84112,
Richard L. Handy, (F.ASCE), Distinguished Prof. Emeritus; Iowa State Univ., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Ames, Iowa 50011,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 12, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


A short aggregate pier system, developed to provide an economical alternative to the overexcavation/replacement technique, has been used used since 1988 to control settlement of structures located at sites with marginal or inadequate soils. Highly densified aggregate piers, composed of stone as used in highway construction, are formed within excavations. They have been shown to substantially reduce settlements of shallow foundations, and also to be suitable for use as anchors to prevent uplift at an airplane hangar. Case histories include a site subject to seismic codes.

Subject Headings: Soil settlement | Aggregates | Piers | Infrastructure construction | Shallow foundations | Case studies | Structural control | Economic factors

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