16-Story Building, 19th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Overview: A 16-story building and mixed-use development area consisting of 26,000 square feet of retail and office space was proposed at the intersection of 19th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. GeoStructures provided a geotechnical investigation to characterize the subsurface conditions meant to accommodate the space. 

GeoStructures’ detailed characterization of the subsurface conditions enabled the use of economical strip and spread footings (rather than a deep foundation) to support the high-rise structure. Our scope of work included:

  • Two phases of field exploration with a total of 10 test borings and 6 pumping wells/piezometers
  • Groundwater pumping and drawdown tests
  • Permeability and seepage analysis
  • Finite element method (FEM) analysis and design of secant pile wall and slurry wall

GeoStructures was also responsible for the engineering analysis associated with the conceptual design of two excavation support systems (secant pile and slurry walls) for the deep basement. Secant pile walls were eventually selected as the first-time application of this system in the city of Philadelphia.

Considering the limited right-of-way for temporary excavation support and other unique site constraints, GeoStructures proposed to use the excavation support system as the permanent foundation wall, as well as a cut-off wall to mitigate groundwater intrusion during construction and permanent occupation.

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Percolation and Permeability In-Situ Testing 

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