Thursday // April 20, 2017

“Muddy” geotechnical report leads to creative solutions

WoodSprings Suites - Madison

After heavy rain at the WoodSprings Suites project in Madison, Tenn., the testing agency analyzed the site and delivered a report that recommended undercutting a foot and a half of soil and replacing with structural infill. The proposed change would cost the owner nearly $100,000 and “waiting it out” was not an option, as the soil would take nearly a month to dry.

EMJ Project Manager Brandon Stewart, Superintendent Roberto Almiron, and Level II Superintendent Ryan Blaylock were not comfortable with this solution and questioned the report to gain a better understanding of the situation. They then consulted with the geotechnical engineer and others to formulate a more prudent alternative. After the testing agency gave the all clear on the new plan, the team went to work.

The plumber excavated two- to five-foot trenches throughout the site and backfilled them with gravel from the original scope, which served as a French drain to dry the site. By the time the plumbing, concrete and additional site work was completed, only 30% of the pad was original dirt and “hard as a rock” when the testing agency returned to proof-roll it.

Rather than following the testing agency’s suggestion to bring in unnecessary soil, which brought a hefty cost and no real value to the client, Brandon, Roberto and Ryan thought outside the box and worked collaboratively to produce a solution that saved the client significant capital.

“The team turned a potentially unpleasant and expensive situation into a no-cost issue for the owner by collaborating and asking questions,” said Jonathan Horne, Director of Quality Assurance.

Congratulations to Brandon Stewart, Roberto Almiron and Ryan Blaylock, who are recipients of EMJ’s C2C Spotlight award for delivering unique value through creative solutions on this project.

The four-story, 123-room hotel is expected to be completed later this year.

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