WooSox Madison Residential Development

Worcester, Massachusetts

A new, 7-story, mixed-use development consisting of 2 garage levels with 5 residential and retail levels above was planned right across the street from Polar Park – the home of the minor league Worcester Red Sox. 

  • Owner: Madison Properties
  • General Contractor: Plumb House, Inc.
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Sanborn, Head, & Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Veitas and Veitas Engineers, Inc.
Client's Challenge

The project is the first residential development of a multi-million-dollar planned campus in the Canal District to consist of modern apartment buildings, offices, laboratories, and hotels.

Subsurface Conditions

The quite problematic subsurface conditions consist of about 10 to 15 feet of granular fill over 0 to 50+ feet of organic soil, with organic contents of up to 390%. Below the organic layer are medium dense to dense glacial soils.

Geopier® Solution

In addition to structural support, the site required up to 11 feet of fill. Our goal for ground improvement was to provide the project team with three things: 1) a consistent, high allowable bearing pressure of 8 ksf that could be used beneath the entire footprint (organic and non-organic areas) that met the project settlement tolerance of 1-inch; 2) quick installation to keep the project on schedule; and 3) an economical solution over deep foundations. We accomplished all three goals by utilizing Geopier GeoConcrete® Columns (GCCs) for foundation and slab support. The GCCs were installed through the new and existing fill/deep organics to bear in the glacial soils.

Our licensee, Helical Drilling, installed 60,000 lf of GCCs in 24 days. To limit the risk to the project team, we implemented a pre-production test program proving we could achieve a capacity of 250 kips per GCC element. The solution ultimately saved the project several million dollars vs driven piles, which does not account for the savings due to the accelerated construction schedule.