Victory Church - Disturbed Area Overview Map

Early Identification of Construction Spoils Prevents Damage to Building and Other Facilities

Project Background

Victory Church

Victory Church contracted HVJ to help determine project viability and potential cost, both of which were crucial to determining whether the project would move forward. We provided preliminary worst-case recommendations before the geotechnical investigation phase, which allowed the structural engineer and General Contractor (CHASCO) to evaluate the potential foundation cost implications.

Practice: Geotechnical Engineering

Sector: Buildings

Location: Pflugerville, Texas

Services: Foundation Design, Deep Foundations, Shallow Foundations, Floor Slab Preparation, Pavement Design, Subgrade Preparation

Victory Church LS Spoils above fat clay, mark up

The Problem

The church was making a critical decision that would impact their ability to build a new church on a piece of property.  Victory church was acquiring an 11.5-acre lot adjacent to SH 45 where they planned to construct a new worship center and needed geotechnical information right away to determine if the subgrade soil would allow for an economical foundation or should the church pass on the property.

The Goal

  • Determine if property contained subgrade suitable to economically build a new church
  • Find a solution at a cost the Church Congregation was willing to fund

Our Solution

We were able to provide preliminary recommendations using background research and our experience to identify historical site conditions.  We observed the site had the surficial soils removed and replaced with up to 10 feet of uncontrolled fill from the adjacent SH 45 highway construction.  Unless addressed, these conditions rendered the property un-buildable, killing both the project and the Church’s plans to expand its congregation.

 HVJ performed borings on the site to characterize the fills as low PI clays with gravel. The material used to fill the site was a completely weathered limestone excavated using scrapers.  Unfortunately, the consistency of the material was variable based on in-field testing and needed to be removed and recompacted. 

 We provided several options for the building pad. These included a slab supported with shaft foundations into the underlying limestone and a grade beam system that used an integrated slab on grade paired with spot footings to support the sanctuary.  Ultimately due to the loading on the project, the more economical foundation was the slab supported by shafts.

 HVJ met with the general contractor on the site to evaluate the equipment proposed to be used to reduce the additional cost burden to the project.  The contractor suggested using a Bomag recycler/mixer on-site to break the existing fills down.  The fills located within the proposed parking areas were recommended to be cement stabilized to reduce the overall pavement thickness by utilizing the Bomag mixer and equipment already on-site.  By performing this analysis, we were able to reduce the cross-section by 4 inches saving the church congregation approximately $100,000.


The Results

  • Found cost-effective solutions to allow the church to build on the property.
  • Evaluated equipment used to provide further savings to the client.

Church is currently in construction and expected to be operational in 2020.

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