Foundation Enhancement for ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

Introduction to ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden and Its Attractions

The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, opened in 1996, has flourished into a 32-acre haven showcasing plants from the American Southwest and around the globe. At the heart of the gardens lies a nature path encircling a pond and a stage used for various entertainments. As part of a series of proposed improvements, the existing stage and pavilion were set for demolition to make way for a new, enhanced stage and pavilion, complete with new pedestrian paths and landscaping.

Significant Upgrades: Project Scope

The unexpected groundwater conditions presented a formidable obstacle for Wizer Electric, a contractor based in Albuquerque. The structural engineer contacted Ram Jack New Mexico and sought specialized assistance to address these difficulties. Ram Jack installed piers that were crucial for supporting the new stage and maintaining the stability of the pond area.

Helical Pier Installation: Ensuring Structural Stability

The project posed a significant challenge due to the presence of shallow groundwater, which could lead to soil liquefaction during seismic activity. Soil liquefaction occurs when saturated soil loses its strength and acts like a liquid, resulting in ground instability. To combat this, the helical piers were meticulously designed to ensure vertical support for both the pavilion columns and the pond’s retaining wall. The solution involved the installation of helical piers and tiebacks with precise specifications:

  • Retaining Wall Structure:
    • 20 Helical Tieback Piers: 2 7/8” diameter with a 8”/10” double configuration, topped with New Construction brackets, installed to a 15-Kip working load.
    • 9 Vertical Helical Piers: 3.5” diameter with a 12”/14” double configuration, topped with New Construction brackets, installed to a 40-Kip working load.
  • New Pavilion Structure and Outdoor Sound Stage:
    • 10 Vertical Helical Piers: 2 7/8” diameter with a 10/12/14 inch disc configuration, topped with New Construction brackets, installed to a 15-Kip working load.

The vertical piers were about 43 feet deep on average, and the tiebacks were about 53 feet long on average.

Verification Test Ensures Integrity and Reliability of Helical Piers

To ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the installation, a verification test was conducted. This test involved subjecting the piers to 200% of the designed working load of 15 Kips for both vertical and tieback piers. The successful completion of this test confirmed the reliability of the helical piers under the anticipated loads.

Successful Foundation Solutions for ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden’s New Structures

Using helical piers provided a robust and reliable foundation solution for the new stage/pavilion at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. This approach effectively addressed the challenges posed by the shallow water table and proximity to the pond, ensuring the stability and longevity of the new structures. The project highlights the capabilities of Ram Jack New Mexico along with their innovative pier solutions to overcome site-specific challenges and meet the demands of a challenging construction site. To see another project that included similar difficulties and success, read here: Helical and Resistance Piers at HP Data Center.

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Straight Line Construction

Straight Line Construction has changed a great deal over the last 30+ years in the industry, but one thing remains the same: our commitment to quality and to designing and installing permanent solutions to foundation settlement issues. Beginning with small residential jobs more than 30 years ago when the family-owned company was founded by Tim Davis, Sr., Straight Line Construction today repairs cracking residential and commercial foundations through its Ram Jack product toolkit and designs solutions for large infrastructure and industrial projects. We specialize in matching the right solution to each type of foundation repair issue.

Are you building a new home and want to ensure it has a solid foundation? Or is your house experiencing unwanted sagging or a cracking foundation? Are your walls cracked or your doors and windows sticking? As a bonded, licensed, and fully insured foundation repair company, we are proud to serve Colorado homeowners, builders, and commercial contractors. Our technical certifications enable us to offer the highest quality services and the best American-made, environmentally safe products available for foundation repair. Regardless of how your building is shifting or sinking, we can help you stop it. Our 30 years in the business and our designation as a Ram Jack certified dealer means you get the most technologically savvy solution to fix your foundation.

From the factory to the field, we strive to ensure the quality of our products and workmanship meet the highest industry standards. We work with other vetted professionals in the industry. All of our helical piers, push piers, and mounting brackets are manufactured by Ram Jack in Ada, OK, at an ISO-certified facility with American-made steel. Williams Form Engineering in Golden, CO, manufactures our reinforcing bar for ground anchor systems and shares our commitment to quality control and quality assurance.

About Ram Jack

Ram Jack is a family-owned business that began operations in 1968, in Ada, OK, where we currently source our piers and brackets. Back then, concrete piering was the original repair method used simply because it was the only technology available at the time. Over time, it became evident that concrete piers did not provide long-term stabilization of foundations and only provided a short-term warranty period. To guarantee the highest grade of customer satisfaction, a greater solution needed to be found.

The Ram Jack owners embarked on a research program to develop a foundation repair system to stand the test of time. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first issued a patent to Ram Jack for its foundation repair system in 1985. Over the next few years, additional refinements and patents have followed, resulting in the strongest patented system in the industry. Ram Jack driven pilings are ICC-ES recognized (International Construction Code—Evaluation Services). Ram Jack is one of only two ICC-ES recognized foundation repair companies in the industry. Ram Jack’s products meet or exceed code requirements set down by ICC-ES for both commercial and residential properties.

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