Residential Ground Movement
Buderim, Sunshine Coast.
The project involved a residential property constructed on the upper eastern slopes of Buderim hill, overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains, where incorrect foundations and construction methods for a major extension had resulted in severe cracking and damage to the house.
Following 5 years of investigations and reports by other experts the owners still had no tangible solutions other than demolition, which for them was untenable.
In a last ditch effort to save their house, the owners engaged Core Consultants, in mid-2015, to undertake a geotechnical investigation and analysis and to come up with a practical and affordable remedy.
Core Consultants developed an innovative remedial design to arrest the downslope movement of the dwelling which a micro-pile design and construct solution using a specialist micro-piling contractor.
- Previous investigations and reports by other geotechnical organisations had not proved the thicknesses of the tertiary sediments, established groundwater conditions or reached the underlying sandstone formation, and no material strength testing was previously undertaken.
- Core Consultants used standard geotechnical investigation techniques together with seismic testing in the form of Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) testing to further assess the depth of the underlying sandstone and to provide a higher level of clarity and certainty that had not previously been possible using a single traditional geotechnical method.
- The results of Core Consultants investigation indicated that the ground movement was most likely associated with deep seated circular and/or translational movement of the fill, colluvium and underlying tertiary sediments. Once this had been established Core Consultants worked with a specialist piling contractor to develop a unique micropile solution to arrest movement downslope and below the house to minimise settlement of the structure.
- Core Consultants took on the responsibility to engage the piling contractor and provided geotechnical engineering oversight during construction. Core Consultants also provided an experienced and qualified principal project manager to act as the project Superintendent responsible for all the non-technical aspects of the project including project management, cost control, schedule control and contract administration.
- A monitoring survey was undertaken before and after construction and for the following 12 months to confirm the stability of the micropile structure and the residence. Once the stability of the house had been established the owners proceeded with the rectification and restoration to reinstate their home back to what it was prior to the foundation failure.
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