Project Description

This project was part of the wastewater treatment plant for which Milman & Associates completed the structural and civil designs. Specifically, it highlights our ability to devise unique testing methods that lead to creative design solutions and considerable savings during the construction stage.

The largest holding tank (6,500 m³) of biological treatment was to be located at the site of the remaining foundation plate of a demolished coke plant. Since the foundation plate was supported by hundreds of existing piles, we took the initiative to assess the feasibility of re-using the existing piles. This was a considerable cost-saving alternative to removing the old foundation in favour of a brand new one.

Our feasibility assessment consisted of load-testing the existing piles. Conventional load-testing of piles usually involves applying weight: sand, or other bulk material. However, the magnitude of the required load (1800kN) made the conventional approach impractical. Instead, our team developed a portable load-testing device, complete with a load cell and a hydraulic jack, which could be easily re-used to test multiple piles. The device consisted of a steel frame anchored to the existing slab by heavy-duty spin-lock anchors.

Our creative load-testing program concluded that the existing piles were capable of supporting the new design loads resulting in millions of dollars worth of savings.