Foundation Soil Preload Saves $164,000

by Alfred B. Williamson, Assoc.; Bovay Engrs., Inc., Baton Rouge, La.,
Daryl B. Patin, (M.ASCE), Principal Engineer; Bovay Engrs., Inc. Baton Rouge, La.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Pg. 61-63

Document Type: Feature article


Soils in the lower Mississippi valley are highly compressible and present a challenge to structural foundation designers. Rather than support power plant structures on piles, one design firm chose to preload the soil, thereby consolidating it and making it stronger, before erecting structures. By so doing, they were able to use foundations on grade. Otherwise, they would have had to drive more than three hundred 100-ft piles, increasing costs by $164,000. A 9-ft topsoil surcharge was used to preload soils for two cooling towers and a pump pit base prior to their erection. Condensate and oil storage tanks were erected first, then filled with water for preload; connections were not made until settlement was complete. Post-construction settlement has been negligible.

Subject Headings: Preloading | Foundation design | Soil compression | Water storage | Storage tanks | Power plants | Piles

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