WuXi AppTec, Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Overview: This 126,300 SF, 2-story industrial building at the east side of Philadelphia Navy Yard houses Wuxi AppTec’s United States Headquarters and its early phase clinical manufacturing and testing facility. GeoStructures was retained by Liberty Property Trust to perform the geotechnical investigation to characterize the subsurface conditions for foundation design and construction. 

GeoStructures performed a geotechnical investigation with detailed site characterization. Results showed a 25-ft thick, soft, high-plasticity silt layer across the site attributed to its close proximity to the Delaware River. This layer is sandwiched between two alluvial sand layers. Laboratory CRS consolidation testing of high-quality Shelby tubes confirmed the high compressibility of this layer. When loaded by the proposed building foundations and slab, this deposit would have caused a 16-inch settlement over a 4-year period. In order to construct shallow foundations, the silt layer needed improvement. Otherwise, a more expensive pile foundation with a structural slab system would have been required to support the building.

The ground improvement consisted of surcharging and strip (wick) drains. The design was optimized considering (1) the cost of the additional fill needed to construct a higher surcharge embankment and (2) the cost of installing wick drains to achieve the desired waiting period. The optimum design consisted of constructing a 10-ft high embankment with 6-ft spaced wick drains. The system was left to settle over a 6-month waiting period. The surcharge height was later increased to 20 ft in order to affect the removal of settlement for a mechanical room that was conceived at a later stage. Once the preloading was confirmed to have achieved its intended objectives, the surcharge was cut back to the proposed subgrade and building construction began.


Connect with us.

Providing state-of-the-art geotechnical engineering services with an unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation.

Percolation and Permeability In-Situ Testing 

Drilling Services and Subsurface Investigations

Foundation Investigation and Design

Highway and Bridge Geotechniques

Support of Excavation and Underpinning

Soil-Structure Interaction Analysis and Modeling

Soil Dynamics & Site-Specific Response Spectra

Vibration Monitoring and Analyses

Forensic Evaluations

Slope and Retaining Wall Evaluation and Design

Lime and Cement Stabilization

Mine Subsidence Analysis and Remediation

Sinkhole Evaluation and Remediation

Soil Improvement Techniques

Dam Analysis and Rehabilitation

Environmental Services

Landfills, Ponds, and Lagoons

Pavement Design and Rehabilitation

Construction Inspection and Materials Testing

Geotechnical Laboratory Testing

Concrete and Cement Testing

Petrographic Analysis

Instrumentation and Special Testing

Asphalt Testing

View All Services >

3-D Dynamic Finite Element Analysis



Institutional & Educational


Industrial, Pharmaceutical, & Gene Therapy

Landfill Expansion Design


Research & Forensics


Water & Wastewater

View All Selected Projects >

Who We Are 

Who We Are

Meet Our Team

Contact Us 

Pay Invoice

Contact Us