Geotechnical Exploration to Support Community Ice Rink Development

Geotechnical Exploration, Foundation/Support Recommendations, Periodic Observation of Soil Conditions and Fill Placement During Construction

Client: G&G Hauling & Excavating, Inc. | Location: Winona Lake, Indiana

Weaver Consultants Group (WCG) conducted a geotechnical exploration to support the development of a community sporting complex in Winona Lake, Indiana. The project includes an ice rink with two smaller adjacent buildings that will spread over approximately 27,000 square feet. The ice rink is planned as a recreational activity venue for Winona Lake residents and visitors.

WCG’s geotechnical exploration revealed rubble, which was the remains of the previous building that occupied the development area. Below the rubble, several layers of very loose sand and calcareous silt (marl) were encountered. In these soil conditions, shallow spread foundations were likely to have significant settlement and were not an option to support the ice rink. The drilling also revealed denser sand in the deeper soil layers. Given the ice rink is a single-span type structure, the column loads are relatively high. Therefore, WCG recommended the use of the system of helical piers for support of the ice rink. Helical piers can penetrate through the loose and soft layers and be locked into the stiffer soil, where they will transfer the applied loads. The helical piers are installed relatively fast, circumventing the need for extreme excavations, saving time and money.

The two adjacent buildings were not supported on helical piers. For the size and purpose of those buildings, a relatively simpler approach seemed more appropriate. WCG recommended that the adjacent buildings be supported on a shallow continuous foundation system. For that purpose, the soil had to be excavated approximately 5 feet below the existing grade to remove the unsuitable soil. After the removal, WCG recommended placing a layer of geogrid and covering it with layers of appropriate crushed aggregate up to the foundation subgrade.

WCG representatives visited the project site to observe soil conditions and fill placement at several stages of construction. The combination of two foundation systems worked well for the client, providing them with an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving solution. The ice rink is planned to be operational by the end of 2021.