Pile Field Support Prefabricated Plants Floated into Place

by Elmer Isaak, (F.ASCE), Pres.; URS/Madigan Praeger Inc., New York, N.Y.,
Sidney Johnson, Partner; Morrisey-Johnson Cons. Engrs., New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 1, Pg. 61-63

Document Type: Feature article


A unique pile support system, combined with earth dikes and superflooding inside an earth drydock to found floating, prefabricated plant structures on the piles, is estimated to have saved some $6,000,000 and about two years time in setting up a $300,000,000, 750-ton per day pulp mill in a remote section of Brazil. A conventional drydock would have been too expensive to build and would have needed an additional 2 years of construction time. An earthfill drydock was used in place of a conventional drydock, and the design employed the barge hulls themselves to distribute loading to the foundation soils through the piling. The key to this approach was a pile support system that would allow for the differential contact between structure and piles, thus possible pile overloading, as the hulls were being lowered. The complementary part of the scheme involved raising the barges some 7 m above their flotation level in the river, positioning them over the pre-driven pile field, then dewatering to lower them into place.

Subject Headings: Piles | Prefabrication | Foundation design | Barges | Levees and dikes | Developing countries | Construction management | Earth fills | Brazil | South America

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