Publication Abstract




Proceedings-DFI/EFFC 11th International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundations, 2014, Stockholm, Sweden, (DFI)

SFMOMA Expansion - Multiple Uses of Ground Improvement - A Case Study
Scott A. Walker and Frank L. Rollo, Treadwell & Rollo, a Langan Company, USA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in downtown metropolitan San Francisco, California, is supported on a mat foundation. Although the mat foundation of the original museum was designed to accommodate a future expansion, the plans for expansion that developed in 2010 required a larger footprint to accommodate the new space requirements of the museum. The new, larger expansion was designed by lead architect Snohetta. It will be a tall 12-story, steel-framed building occupying an area that was once the eastern part of the existing museum as well as two adjacent and newly acquired parcels. As designed, the expansion includes a 30-foot-deep excavation which is surrounded by adjacent buildings and improvements. Because of variable subsurface conditions at the site, geotechnical challenges included mitigating anticipated differential settlement between the existing and new foundations, preventing overstressing of the existing mat foundation, controlling groundwater to prevent settlement of surrounding improvements, and providing temporary support of adjacent structures during excavation for the new basement. To address several of the geotechnical challenges, soil-cement mixed (SMX) ground improvement was recommended by Treadwell & Rollo. However, during contract negotiations and construction, the specialty contractor proposed using jet grouting as an alternative technique for ground improvement. The jet grouting approach was accepted in principal, but when implemented was only marginally successful. Accordingly, the contractor eventually installed SMX panels using a Cutter Soil Mixing (CSM) machine. Because the CSM machine was a late arrival during construction, the contractor was not able to take advantage of the ground-improvement technique to install many of the shoring elements that we had originally recommended (such as the cut-off shoring wall). In the end, SMX panels were installed as ground-improvement beneath the new mat foundation to (1) reduce the potential for liquefaction in clean sand below the groundwater by providing increased rigidity to the soil, (2) reduce the potential for disturbing a weak underlying marsh deposit during construction, and (3) transfer vertical building loads to a layer of underlying dense sand. This paper also discusses the quality control and quality assurance programs that were implemented to check that the ground-improvement techniques used were thorough and complete and provided the required strength to transfer the new foundation loads to the underlying strata.


 article #1947; publication #100 (IC-2014)