FMC Tower, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Overview: The development of the FMC Tower in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was yet another extension of the Cira Centre, built along the University City Schuylkill waterfront. The completed 49-story tower boasts 268 luxury residential units, 620,000 SF of office space, a fitness and aquatics center, yoga studio, and spa. GeoStructures conducted the geotechnical investigation and design for the project, as well as the inspection and materials testing.

GeoStructures was awarded the geotechnical investigation and design, as well as the construction materials testing and special inspections for Brandywine Realty Trust’s FMC Tower at Cira Center South. During the design stage, GeoStructures conducted an Osterberg cell (O-cell) load test of a rock-socketed caisson to optimize the caisson design. The optimization using the O-cell saved Brandywine Realty Trust an estimated $2 million and shortened the caisson installation timeline by more than 3 months. From this work, GeoStructures received the 2021 Delaware Valley Geo- Institute (DVGI) Project of the Year award.

The completed structure features an inner concrete core and outer steel framing, with concrete slab on metal decking to level 28. Above that, the structure transfers to reinforced concrete frames and slab system. GeoStructures performed all construction inspection and materials testing services including rock-socketed caissons, cast- in-place concrete, masonry, spray-applied fireproofing, and structural steel and fabrication inspection.

During drilling of the rock-socketed caissons, multiple methods were used to accomplish rock socket inspection, including downhole, diver sounding, and video observation. Inspection of the structural steel framing required frequent fabrication shop visits and testing in addition to field inspection. The FMC Tower at Cira Center South was completed in late 2016.

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