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Foundation Piles and Brownstone Underpinning - Boston, MA

January 7, 2011


Push Piers were utilized to underpin the very heavy Brownstone foundation walls. The piers advanced over 80 feet deep to encounter the dense soils below.


Underpinning Piles were spaced about three feet apart along the foundation. Heavy duty angle iron was utilized to help transfer the building weight down to the resistance piers.

Boston Brownstone Foundation Problem:
This 3 story Brownstone structure located in the Chinatown District of Boston, Massachusetts was undergoing major renovations; construction of two new stories on top of the existing building. The eighty year old foundation was determined inadequate to support the additional loads, and a combination of Foundation Piles was required:   Resistance Piles to strengthen the foundation and Helical Piers to support several new columns inside the basement. 

Resistance Foundation Piles: EFT constructed an underpinning system consisting of high-capacity resistance piles installed with heavy duty angle iron to spread the loads. The piles were required to hold working loads of 40,000 lbs each. To achieve these loads, the underpinning piles were anticipated to advance to over 70 feet deep.

Helical Foundation Piles :  A total of 15 helical piles were also installed at the site to provide foundation support for some new column foundations.   The lower-capacity helical piers advanced approximately 20 feet to gain bearing in the Boston Blue Clay below. 

Project Details: Working conditions were made very tough by limited site access and minimal working room. Portable equipment was utilized to install the piles from within the basement. Eighteen underpinning piles were successfully installed in 7 working days.

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