Leading Thoughts: 4/25/17 Geopier® Rigid Inclusions an Alternative to Piles

If you have a deep soft soil site and heavy loads, aggregate pier ground improvement is probably not the answer for tolerable settlements.  But rather than throwing in the towel and going to piles, Ground Improvement Engineering (GIE) has another tool on our tool belt for just this situation: GeoConcrete® Columns (GCC). 

GCC is a high stiffness, rigid system developed by Geopier that transfers loads through the soft soils into a hard bearing layer.  Best of all, you can use normal spread footings and slabs once this process is done.

GCC is constructed with a closed system displacement mandrel, supplied with concrete.  It is driven to a suitable bearing stratum and withdrawn to create the load-carrying elements.  A complete description is given here.

If you have a tough building site with deep, poor soils, let us know. We can help you avoid driven piles, drilled shafts or augered cast-in-place piles.  Your design/construction team will appreciate using normal footings and slabs, and so will your wallet!

GCC system construction in Oklahoma City  

The Residences is a 334 Unit urban mixed use development with retail, dining, and office space in the film row district of downtown, Oklahoma City.  The project consists of six separate structures spanning three city blocks.  Two five-story wood framed apartment buildings make up the largest percentage of housing, along with a five-story concrete and wood frame clubhouse building with a rooftop pool and fitness center. 

Parking is handled by multistory cast in place "Podium" parking as well as two precast parking garages over six stories tall.

This project will totally transform the west side of downtown Oklahoma City for years to come, creating an entire new community around the Historic Fred Jones Manufacturing Plant (currently the 21c Hotel).


Company News: 3/2/17 GIE Senior Engineer will present "Next Generation Geopier® Technologies" at ACEC meeting on March 10th in Minneapolis 


Jeff Christensen, P.E., Senior Engineer with Ground Improvement Engineering, is presenting at the upcoming American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) meeting on March 10th in Minneapolis.
The presentation will focus on the latest Geopier ground improvement technologies in the
Geopier Rammed Aggregate Pier® and Geopier Rigid Inclusion families.  These techniques provide increased stiffness beneath embankments, retaining walls, storage tanks and buildings.

For more information, or to set up a presentation in your office please contact us at 763-416-2136 or email 



Company News: 2/15/17 GIE Engineer is presenting at GEAPS conference in Kansas City March 28th

Charles Allgood, P.E., Principal Engineer with Ground Improvement Engineering, is an author and session presenter at the upcoming GEAPS conference in Kansas City.  The presentation and technical paper is titled "Choosing Grain Bin Support for Soft Soils."

GEAPS is the Grain Elevator and Processing Society; their annual conference brings together contractors, owners, engineers, suppliers and facility operators from all across the grain industry.

The presentation will focus on how to select your geotechnical engineering consultant, what to expect from the geotechnical exploration, loadings from grain storage structures, and how to handle poor soil conditions.  Poor soil strategies to be covered include over-excavation and replacment, ground improvement techniques such as Geopier®, and deep pile foundations.

For more information, or to set up a presentation in your office please contact Charles at 763-416-2136 or email


Project Spotlight: 1/27/17 Amazon decides to go "Prime" with the ground improvement!

The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Kansas City, KS is sited over deep existing fill and soft loess, in some cases 32 feet deep.  Tough situation for their large 855,000 square foot multi-story warehouse.

The design team turned to Geopier GP3® and X1® systems to support high-capacity footings loaded up to 600 kips with a bearing pressure of 6,000 psf.

The X1 system is a “drill and fill” technology that can improve poor soils up to 45 feet deep while producing the stiffness of the original Geopier system.



Let your local GIE Engineer know if you have a tough building site with deep poor soils; we’ll be glad to steer you clear of expensive pile systems, lengthy surcharges or other unimaginative solutions!  


Project Spotlight: 11/16/16 HarborChase of Shorewood completed in Wisconsin on Geopier

Congratulations to Altius Construction for completing the new 4-story HarborChase senior living building in the Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin.  Altius partnered with Eppstein Uhan Architects and Pierce Engineers to design and construct this well-appointed facility.

Due to poor soils they elected to support the building using the Geopier GP3® system.  Ground Improvement Engineering designed the Geopier system and Foundation Service Corporation installed over 450 Geopier elements in two phases.

The following is a video link that describes the design collaboration and construction.  The poor soil and Geopier portion start near 2:18 into the video.