Chicago's Micropile Debut

by Steven D. Scherer, (M.ASCE), Vice President; The Concrete Doctor, Inc., 16043 Depot Place, Lincolnshire, IL 60069,
William H. Walton, (M.ASCE), Vice President; GEI Consultants, Inc., Chicago, IL,
Ron Johnson, (M.ASCE), Senior Associate; Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 8, Pg. 51-53

Document Type: Feature article


On a tight, urban site around Chicago's historic Orchestra Hall, engineers used high-capacity micropiles as an alternative to hand-dug caissons. On a $104 million project to renovate and expand the existing structure of Chicago's Orchestra Hall, the design and construction team quickly focused on the foundation system as the project's major challenge. The team consisted of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Chicago; STS Consultants Ltd., Deerfield, Ill.; Turner Construction Co., Chicago; and The Concrete Doctor Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill. After considering design and cost constraints, the design team selected a mixture of drilled caissons, high load capacity drilled steel micropiles and hydraulically pushed micropiles. The use of drilled micropiles at design loads of 210 kips is a new application for Chicago.

Subject Headings: Micro piles | Load bearing capacity | Hydraulic design | Drilling | Project management | Load factors | Load and resistance factor design | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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