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Michigan State University Library: Auger Cast Piles

August 1, 2011

Project: 22, 14” Auger Cast Piles driven 30’ deep
Challenge: Small construction site; working campus atmosphere; and two historical trees on site during the construction process.
Solution: Extreme caution and knowledge in equipment selection and timing on behalf of our crews.
Customer: A.Z. Shmina, Inc. (general contractor)
Location: Michigan State University Library
Timing: July 19, 2011 – August 1, 2011
Value: $114,000 of a multi-million dollar addition
Partners: Machin Engineering

The Main Library at Michigan State University serves as the center for the campus community’s knowledge base, on-campus-research, and quiet study. However, it houses many aging items that require temperature and humidity control for their preservation. This is accomplished using devices called steam absorption chillers, which create chilled water for the building's air-conditioning system.

It was discovered during a maintenance inspection that the significant components of the chillers had reached the end of their service life and need to be replaced. The first phase of the replacement – the one for which Team Elmer’s was responsible – was auger cast piles. Our Team built an auger cast retaining wall (secant wall) to create a 16-foot deep excavation area during construction. On an existing sheet pile wall, we installed helical tiebacks and whaling units to hold back horizontal loading from soils. This increased the force load and prepared the existing structure for the remaining library renovations.

Each of the 22 14-inch auger cast piles driven 30 ft. below grade in the excavated job site areas had a cage of four #7 bars with #3 ties every 12 inches throughout the whole depth of the pile. These helped to reinforce the pile and provide lateral stability.

We encountered several difficulties that accompanied working at a university. MSU is full of life year round, and our small work area, an active campus atmosphere and proximity to two historical trees reflected the campus’ vigor. Working in conjunction with University Arborists, we maintained the health and integrity of the trees during the construction process.

John W, McCarroll, Project Manager of A.Z. Shmina, Inc., told us, “This was the first time that our companies have done work together and we are extremely satisfied with your performance. As any project encounters subsurface unknowns, this project was no different and your ability to adjust to the site’s needs was greatly appreciated.”

Team Elmer’s rose above the challenges with special planning and organization, finishing on time and within budget. Now, the Spartans will be able to preserve their books and stay cool while they study!

 

Click here to download a PDF of "Michigan State University Library: Auger Cast Piles"


 

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