Working with WDG Architecture, KCI provided geotechnical engineering services for the design and construction of a new high-rise dormitory to house a total of approximately 464 students on the College Park Campus of the University of Maryland. The proposed construction included a partially above grade basement/ground floor and an estimated floor space of 150,000 square feet. The project also included a satellite central utility building within the ground floor of the dormitory that required approximately 5,000 to 6,000 square feet of space along with associated parking lots and stormwater management facilities. This state-of-the-art facility was designed for LEED “Gold” Certification which included many sustainable and energy efficient design features.
Prior to performing the subsurface exploration for the project, KCI geotechnical engineers reviewed the subsurface exploration data obtained from a similar project located within the vicinity of the proposed construction and found it useful and relevant to the current project. By taking this data into consideration, our team saved the client money by cutting the subsurface exploration cost considerably while ensuring a safe and robust geotechnical engineering study.
Because of our prior experience with other buildings on the College Park Campus, we were able to provide innovative and sustainable geotechnical design solutions that limited deep excavations and reduced construction costs.
Kwabena Ofori-Awuah, PE, ENV SPPractice Leader, Senior Geotechnical Engineer
KCI’s value-engineered approach included providing the client with preliminary foundation and ground improvement recommendations for the proposed construction. This approach accelerated the design process and optimized design refinements, which resulted in significant cost savings positively impacting the overall project schedule and budget.
Site challenges included deep deposits of expansive clayey soils with low bearing strength. Our team provided sustainable ground improvement solutions (stone columns to strengthen in-situ soils) allowing the seven-story dormitory to be constructed on shallow footings. In addition, KCI engineers and geologists employed a state of the art geophysical surface technique called Refraction Microtremor (ReMi) to test, evaluate and upgrade the seismic site classification from class D to class C, which saved the client significantly in structural design and construction costs.