Earth Retention Utilizing Shotcrete

Earth retention systems can serve as a permanent purpose or provide temporary support during construction activities. Thrasher uses a combination of soil nails (mechanical and grouted) and Shotcrete to retain walls of dirt and earth. We also employ Helical Tie Backs and Geo-Locks when they are specified.

Soil nail installation for commercial applications

Experienced foundation repair specialists and geotechnical engineers favor soil nails for their ability to solve soil stabilization problems in cost-effective ways. For example, when a basement foundation must be excavated right next to an existing building with a slab foundation, it's critical to prevent the soil next to the slab from caving into the excavation. Soil nails, used in combination with shotcrete, enable the contractor to quickly and inexpensively construct a retaining wall that stabilizes the excavation while the new basement foundation is under construction.

It's also possible to construct permanent retaining walls with soil nails and shotcrete. This technique is faster, easier, less expensive and less disruptive than building the same wall with poured concrete or concrete masonry units (CMUs).

Mechanical and Grouted Soil Nails in Commercial Applications

Soil nailing is a method of earth retention that relies on reinforcing strands or members installed within a soil mass to create an internally stable gravity wall/retaining system. Although soil nails or "helical piles" have been used as tiebacks since the early 1950's, helical soil nails are a relatively new alternative to their grouted counterparts.

The main difference with a grouted micropile is the pile is advanced through a grout reservoir at the surface. The lead displacement plate pushes soil outward and away from the central shaft and allows specialty micropile grout from the reservoir to flow by gravity into the void being created. The grout column surrounds the pile shaft to create a pile that is more resistant to buckling. There is also additional "frictional" capacity at the grout/soil interface.

Shotcrete Application

A shotcrete application can be done using concrete (sand, aggregate, Portland cement and water) or mortar (sand, Portland cement and water.) In either case, the ingredients are thoroughly mixed before being fed into a concrete pump that forces the liquid through a high-pressure hose. Air from a powerful air compressor is added to liquid at the application nozzle, enabling the operator to apply thin layers of concrete or mortar to a target surface. Because the air propels and lightens the mixture, shotcrete can be applied against vertical and sloping surfaces.

Our Approach to Earth Retention Systems

Thrasher Commercial has a proven track record of earth retention experience in the building trades especially for Healthcare, Education and Manufacturing and all types of new construction.

An earth retention system project for Farm Credit Services of America.

In this case study, significant earthwork operations were required to construct the parking garage at the south and southwest areas of the site with maximum vertical excavations of about 25 feet anticipated. Helical soil nails and a Shotcrete wall were selected for the earth retention system at the south and southwest areas of the site based on their cost effectiveness and ability to not obstruct the right of way of a nearby street. Read the full Case Study here.

Used in combination, soil nails and shotcrete give foundation repair contractors a number of options that are useful in commercial applications, alike. Being able to build retaining walls quickly and inexpensively makes it possible to create workable level areas on sloping sites that would otherwise be unusable. Soil nail and shotcrete techniques can also stabilize slopes and create temporary walls so that more permanent structural work can take place safely.

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Contact Thrasher Commercial Group

Thrasher Commercial is your expert for deep foundation solutions in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. If your next deep foundation system project includes helical piles, piering or grouted micropiles, contact Thrasher Commercial. We are experts in these and many other commercial applications and we bring the technical know-how to make sure our part is installed on-time and on-budget.

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