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What You Need to Know About Geopier Products

Mon October 29, 2018 - Northeast Edition #22
Craig Mongeau - CEG Editor in Chief


The Geopier process involves drilling the shaft to the specified depth and then pouring in the stone, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift all the way back up out of the ground until the Geopier element is capped on which a column foundation can be set by the concrete contractor.
The Geopier process involves drilling the shaft to the specified depth and then pouring in the stone, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift all the way back up out of the ground until the Geopier element is capped on which a column foundation can be set by the concrete contractor.

GeoConstructors, based in Purcellville, Va., recently installed a total of 236 piers over an 80,000-sq.-ft. area for what will be a four-story parking garage, part of a condominium development in Horsham, Pa., a suburban Philadelphia town.

The company exclusively used Geopier product

The process involves drilling the shaft to the specified depth and then pouring in the stone, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift, stone in, tamp a lift all the way back up out of the ground until the Geopier element is capped on which a column foundation can be set by the concrete contractor.

The Geopier product line consists of the Geopier X1 system, the GP3 system, Impact Pier, both grouted and ungrouted, and the GeoConcrete Column system.

  • The Geopier X1 System creates Rammed Aggregate Pier (RAP) elements using a patent pending vertical ramming process, which is a combination of both replacement and displacement methods.
    The Geopier X1 system builds replacement/displacement RAP elements to reinforce good to poor soils, allowing for construction flexibility and the ability to build through caving zones that are encountered during drilling operations.
    Like the original Geopier systems, the X1 system's drilling operation allows for visible inspection of the hole and the opportunity to address changing ground conditions as they happen.
  • The Geopier GP3 System, developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Nathaniel Fox, the original Geopier technology and is known today as the GP3 system, has been used to support thousands of foundations around the world and more than 600 structures in the Mid-Atlantic Region since 1997.
    Geopier technology has been used to support various mid-level structures up to 20 stories tall. The GP3 elements are constructed of stable, dense pillars of aggregate that can support spread footings with bearing pressures up to 10,000 lbs.-per-sq.-ft. Also known as the Rammed Aggregate Pier system, it offers reliable settlement control, fast installation and lower cost than traditional foundation-support methods such as over excavation and replacement, piles or drilled shaft foundations. GeoStructures is the exclusive licensee for this technology in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Geopier Rigid Inclusions consist of cement-treated aggregate, grouted aggregate or concrete columns that are often used to transfer the stress from foundation or embankment loads through very soft soils down to stiffer soil or rock layers. While Geopier rigid inclusions can be specified as the singular solution for a project, they can also be used in combination with conventional Geopier Rammed Aggregate Pier ground improvement methods to optimize performance and costs. When rigid inclusions are specified using a performance-based specification, contractors can allow for more innovation and cost savings versus restricting the use of a single method of construction.
  • The Impact System was developed by Geopier Foundation Company in 2003 to be able to install Geopier elements at sites with a high groundwater table or where soils are susceptible to caving, such as foundation soils consisting of loose sands, or soft silts and clays. By developing the Impact System more projects could take advantage of Geopier technology economically.
  • The GeoConcrete Column System was developed by Geopier in 2004 in response to the need to provide higher capacity piers for projects with larger area fills and adjacent footing stress concerns. GCCs consist of an unreinforced concrete column with a bottom bulb and a top bulb to transfer high footing or embankment stresses down to a dense or hard soil layer.

To read about the Geopier system in action, click here.
CEG