PITTSBURGH – October 30, 2017 – Pittsburgh-based geotechnical firm Menard Group USA wrapped up its trip to Flat Rock, Michigan, to perform dynamic replacement and install vibro stone columns to support a new data center facility at the Ford Motor Company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
Dynamic replacement will support the entire footprint of the data center, while vibro stone columns will help stabilize the soils underneath two new cooling towers.
Dynamic replacement is a relatively new ground improvement technique to the Michigan area. It is performed by excavating craters, filling them with loose stone, and then dropping a 15-to-30 ton weight up to 120 feet high to compact the stone into a column. The process is then repeated in a back-filling and tamping sequence.
“Dynamic replacement is a good fit for sites with soft compressible clays and silts, like the Ford Data Center project,” says J.W. Ramp, Project Manager, Menard Group USA. “We are able to quickly install a high quantity of stone, and the wider columns it creates help support the building’s anticipated high loads.”
The new data center is part of a $1.2 billion investment Ford is making across southeast Michigan. The data center will play a key role in the company’s continued investment to develop their technology in fully autonomous vehicles.
“The autonomous vehicle industry has a lot of potential,” says Frederic Masse, President, Menard Group USA. “We have an innovative spirit at Menard, and we love to support emerging technologies in other industries.”
An estimated 230 prints were made over an area of 270,000 square feet, and a total of 300 vibro stone columns were installed to depths of 15 to 20 feet. Ground improvement construction finished in October 2017.
About Menard Group USA
Menard Group USA is a design-build specialty geotechnical contractor offering expertise in ground improvement for
sites with poor soil. By combining value engineering and innovative techniques, Menard Group USA delivers
practical, sustainable solutions that can be attractive alternatives to deep (pile) foundations. As part of an
international network of geotechnical resources and expertise, our team brings in-depth knowledge and creative
problem solving to every project.
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