Olive Court Condominiums, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home 5 Selected Projects 5 Residential 5 Olive Court Condominiums

Overview: The city of Philadelphia has been in the midst of a 21st century townhouse and condominium building boom as it rediscovers its historic and cultural heritage. Such projects present a common challenge with regard to protecting adjacent historic structures. As new modern basements are extended below the old ones, underpinning of those adjacent structures is needed. In one such project, known as Olive Court, GeoStructures was hired by Taney Construction to design a safe and cost-effective underpinning system for an adjacent, historic, three-story stone masonry townhouse.

Upon inspecting the foundation wall, GeoStructures’ engineers determined that it could sustain point loads from a helical pier type of support system, which is more economical than a conventional concrete pier option. Our design called for thirteen, 12- to 15-ft long, 20-ton capacity, helical steel pier elements connected to the base of the wall using heavy duty steel brackets. Since the helical piers were spaced about every 32 in., no other connections were necessary as the wall was capable of bridging between the brackets. GeoStructures prepared design drawings, specifications, and details for the project, and oversaw settlement monitoring by the project civil engineer. We were also on-site during construction to inspect pre-augering, installation of helical piers, grouting, and jacking of the brackets to load the piers. The contractor installed the piers into the ground using a terminal torque of 8,000 ft-lb to achieve their design capacity of 20 tons. Even with the close pier spacing, this system ended up being about half the cost of conventional concrete underpinning piers.

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