Case Study: How We Used Resistance Piles for Amazon’s Distribution Plant

Foundation repair jobs often require more than one method for securing a home or commercial building. We need to use every tool at our disposal for complex repairs or renovations.

What you’re about to read is another case study involving Indiana’s new Amazon distribution plant — but with a twist. For this post, we’re going to focus on a different technique we used to secure column footings.

Check out this case study to learn how we used resistance piles for Amazon’s loading dock.

Amazon Distribution Plant Background

You may have read our helical piers case study about helping this same Amazon distribution plant in Gary, Indiana.

We used more than one technique to secure their foundation and we were proud of the work done.

Amazon purchased this existing warehouse in April 2019 to renovate into a new distribution center.

USS was called when they attempted to design a new loading dock on the building’s west wall. They discovered that the new loading dock was going to be at a lower elevation than the old one. As a result, the existing foundation wall and footing would be exposed.

This issue needed to be corrected to avoid the risk of the soil collapsing into the excavated trench under the weight of the building. Eventually, the entire wall could collapse.

The Installation of Resistance Piles

Besides installing helical piers to secure the foundation of the Amazon distribution plant, we also utilized resistance piles or push piers.

These types of piers are different from helical piers in that they don’t screw into the ground. Resistance piles are steel pilings driven into the soil with a hydraulic ram to correct a failing foundation

Our team worked with the structural engineering company on the foundation resistance pile installation. They were placed around the existing column footings to ensure they could support the weight of the loading dock without settling or sinking.

Keep reading to find out our exact installation process.

Securing Amazon’s Foundation

The USS installation team installed Titan SP-90 galvanized underpinning piles from the inside of the facility. This was done by cutting the floor slab back on the interior and excavating the sandy soil on the exterior to expose the column footings.

Piles were advanced into the ground to the proper load-bearing stratum, which was between 28 and 38 feet deep. They needed to be pushed down far enough to build the correct pressure to support the columns.

Once completed, the resistance piles provided the column footings with a 2X safety factor, meaning we went above and beyond the minimum. Our goal was to ensure the foundation was permanently secured for Amazon.

Read More USS Case Studies

This case study described how we used resistance piles to help secure the new loading dock of an Amazon distribution plant.

Are you looking to learn more about the residential or commercial repair methods used by United Structural Systems of Illinois, Inc. across the state? Check out the rest of our blog for other informative case studies.

And call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about resistance piles or foundation repair, or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.