Publication Abstract

DFI-PFSF Piled Foundations & Ground Improvement Technology for the Modern Building and Infrastructure Sector, (DFI and PFSF)

Monitoring of an Embankment Project Using Rigid Inclusions and Vacuum Consolidation during and after Construction
Stephen Buttling and Rui Zhong

A single unit gas fired power station was being built on the edge of the Gulf of Thailand in 2001. The soil conditions consisted of very soft to soft Holocene Marine Clay, and the site was part of a coast line which had been subsiding below high water mark for some time. In order to provide access around the power station a road system in a figure-of-eight formation was required, and this also needed to be above the design flood level, allowing for future settlement. A ground improvement scheme was proposed and constructed, which consisted of two spacings of prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) over two depth ranges, vacuum consolidation and pre-loading, and rigid inclusions. During the construction phase, the vacuum consolidation was applied for 202 to 221 days in different zones, and monitoring allowed a prediction that the future settlement, including secondary consolidation over a period of 25 years, would be within the range of 175 to 355 mm, which met the contract requirement of less than 400 mm. The power plant was completed and became operational in 2003. Monitoring of the road levels continued, as did the settlement, and in early 2010 the total settlement since the end of vacuum consolidation had reached about 800 mm. The monitoring data both during the ground treatment and for the following 7 years is presented and analysed. This is supported by numerical analysis using 3D finite element methods which shows good agreement with the measured data, and allows a preliminary explanation as to why the predictions were so far out.

 article #2585; publication #1032 (IC-2017)