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Page 1


Issue 1 • 2017

PIC Piling Industry Canada


Publications mail agreement #40934510


Building the ark

Keller Canada helps protect the Calgary Zoo from future flooding

The secret to dewatering Finding the best way to pump water for your project

Thinking ahead

How abandoning tradition made the Pennsylvania Turnpike construction a success

Done right. The first time.

With full-service capabilities and over 30 years of local on-site experience, Keller Canada provides the largest variety of deep foundation piling, earth retention/shoring and ground improvement solutions in the country. Our ThinkSafe culture and comprehensive OHS&E programs are best in class. We’re proud to hold both OHSAS 18001 & ISO 14001 Certifications.


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In this issue Piling Industry News 6

Saving time and money The Leica Geosystems iCON Piling Rig Piling Industry game changer 12 Canada


Innovation through challenges

PKF’s bet on RTG pile driving rigs pays off big 24 The secret to dewatering 30 Two now one

Published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3L 0G5 President & CEO: David Langstaff Publisher: Jason Stefanik Managing Editor: Bailey Hildebrand-Russell bailey@delcommunications.com Sales Manager: Dayna Oulion dayna@delcommunications.com

Northstar Sharps sees great success and attention after amalgamation 38

Advertising Account Executives: Jennifer Hebert, Michelle Raike

magazine Calgary Zoo Flood

Helical (screw) pile foundations a solution for varying conditions 40

Contributing Writers: Brian Fraley, Melanie Franner, Gregory M. Landry

Keller Canada proud to assist PCL and the City of Calgary to protect the Calgary Zoo for generations to come 18

The little big rig 42

How one company is making do with the space available 16

Protection Program

Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services www.sgbennett.com Art Director / Design: Kathy Cable Advertising Art: Dana Jensen © Copyright 2017. DEL Communications Inc. All rights reserved.The contents of this pub­lica­tion may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher.

Index to advertisers American Piledriving Equipment.....................................................OFC Arntzen Corporation...........................................................................14 Bay Shore Systems, Inc.......................................................................11 Bermingham Foundation Solutions.....................................................9 Canadian Piledriving Equipment Inc..................................................25 ECA Canada................................................................................22 & 23 Hammer & Steel Inc......................................................................... OBC Hercules Machinery Corporation..................................................19, 35 Independence Tube Corporation...........................................................3 Inland Screw Piling.............................................................................41 Junttan Oy...........................................................................................37

Keller Canada.....................................................................................IFC Liebherr Werk Nenzing Gmbh...........................................................27 Loadtest...............................................................................................21 Northstar Sharp’s Foundation Specialists.............................................5 Platinum Grover International Inc......................................................31 RST Instruments Ltd............................................................................29 Samuel Roll Form Group....................................................................15 Skyline Steel....................................................................................7, 17 Soilmec North America......................................................................33 Spatial Technologies...........................................................................13

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher­in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees. Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 Email: david@delcommunications.com Printed in Canada – 06/2017

On the cover: American Bridge Canada Co. utilized both the APE 200-6 and APE 600 vibratory hammers on the Tawatinâ Bridge (a part of the Valley Line LRT system) in Edmonton, Alta. The vibratory hammers were used to drive 104 sheet pile pairs around 14 metres into temporary berms and bedrock to support the excavation of the footings for the bridge. American Bridge supported the hammers with Manitowoc 2250 Series 3 cranes located adjacent to the coffer cells. American Bridge chose APE hammers because of their reputation as a leader in the vibratory hammer industry. APE has assisted American Bridge along the way to ensure that the hammers have been running to maximum efficiency and productivity. 4 PIC Magazine • June 2017



info@northstarsharps.com www.northstarsharps.com




Piling Industry News

DFI to host Helical Piles and Tiebacks Seminar in Montreal

Deep Foundations Institute’s (DFI) Helical Piles and Tiebacks Committee is hosting a one-day seminar on the detailed design, application and installation of helical piles and tiebacks for new construction and rehabilitation. The seminar is being held in Montreal, Que. in mid-September. Seminar topics include axial, lateral, uplift, seismic, cyclic and dynamic loading; settlement analyses; and materials, construction and testing procedures for helical projects. Specific presentations will focus on a number of topics: • Design and construction of helical piles and helical tiebacks. • Seismic performance of helical piles. • Building codes related to the design of helical pile elements. • History and evolution of helical pile systems. • Quality control, load testing and inspection. • Developments and innovations in design, construction processes and equipment. • Research advancements. • Innovative and challenging case studies on the design and use of helical piles systems and helical tiebacks on new and retrofitted projects.

Keynote speakers Keynote speakers for the event are Dr. Hesham El Naggar of University of Western Ontario and Dr. Amy Cerato with University of Oklahoma. M. Hesham El Naggar, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a professor of geotechnical engineering and associate dean of engineering at Western University and the associate editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal. He has 30 years of experience in analysis and design of foundations and soil-structure interaction, and has published more than 270 technical papers in this field. Dr. El Naggar is a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and has won several awards including the 2007 A.G. Stermac Award, 2002 G.G. Meyerhof Award and 2002 Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium Speaker. Amy Cerato, Ph.D., P.E., is a Rapp Foundation presidential professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma, and a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Early Ca-

6 PIC Magazine • June 2017

reer Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Dr. Cerato is a geotechnical engineer whose research includes predicting expansive soil behavior using microscale properties and foundation design for alternative energy. An active member of DFI’s Helical Pile and Tiebacks Committee, Dr. Cerato and her graduate students have been spearheading a Helical (Screw) Pile Seismic Research Study, which is partially funded through DFI’S Committee Project Fund. The event chair is Dr. Yasser Abdelghany, P.E., a geotechnical engineer and the construction standards and contracts engineer of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Dr. Abdelghany is a visiting professor at University of Victoria (UVIC) New Civil Engineering Department (Geotechnical Engineering) and at Western University (UWO) Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

Committee meeting The DFI Helical and Tiebacks Committee is meeting before the event, and encourages participation from seminar attendees and industry professionals in Quebec. The committee includes manufacturers, engineers, academics, suppliers and experienced contractors who constitute a forum for advancing the applications, understanding and use of helical pile and tieback foundation elements. The committee will be discussing its new Helical Pile Design Guide, the development of a Helical Piles and Tiebacks Certification Course, and a new research project led by Dr. Ramin Motamed, assistant professor with the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno. The project, funded by DFI’s Committee Project Fund and Ram Jack, involves conducting scaled liquefaction tests on helical piles and driven piles to experimentally evaluate the performance of the piles as an alternative solution in mitigating the settlement of shallow foundations in liquefiable soils. Complete details on the Helical Piles and Tiebacks Seminar are available at www.dfi.org.

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Š 2017 Skyline Steel, LLC. Skyline Steel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nucor Corporation, the largest producer of steel in the United States.

Piling Industry News

Almita Piling acquires assets of Ancora Metalworks Inc. Almita Piling, based in Edmonton, Alta., has acquired certain manufacturing assets of Ancora Metalworks Inc. in Guelph, Ont. The move, which was finalized in fall 2016, advances Almita’s presence in the Ontario marketplace. “This strategic move has resulted in the addition of a fully equipped and fully staffed manufacturing facility for Almita in the former Ancora premises in Guelph,” says Almita president, Jeff Lloyd. “Almita is now the only piling company in Ontario to offer the full suite of design, fabrication and installation of helical piles.” For the last two years Ancora has been a manufacturing partner for Almita, most recently providing the piles for solar projects in Ontario and Minnesota. Almita Piling has hired a number of the Ancora employees and will offer its entire range of services in Ontario. Almita will include the

Guelph manufacturing facility in its ISO certification program, and will offer a full line of helical piles including CCMC Certified Piles from 2 3/8 inches up to seven inches and even larger piles up to 22 inches in diameter with helices ranging up to 48 inches in diameter. Most importantly, Almita will be able to mobilize installation equipment and crews from its base in Guelph. Almita has a 360 excavator and drive head already on site in Guelph ready to perform more installations. Almita Piling has been a provider of screw piles in Canada since 1991. The company designs, manufactures and installs foundation solutions for the oil and gas, power transmission and distribution, and commercial construction sectors. It has offices in Edmonton, Alta., Saskatoon, Sask. and Guelph, Ont. with manufacturing facilities in Ponoka, Alta. and Guelph, Ont. Liebherr representatives hand over the new drilling rig to NSCC. From left to right: Nidal Khoury, Sophie Albrecht, Kurt Rudigier, Manfred Lins, Issam Khoury, Andri Leith, Hussein Samir, and Jasmin Music.

Ten years of Liebherr in Dubai: NSCC strengthens its position with further deep foundation machines This year marks a big milestone for the Liebherr subsidiary in Dubai.

mer. The company mainly operates in the Gulf region and is strength-

At the end of March 2017, Liebherr celebrated its 10th anniversary in

ening its position with six LB 36-410s as well as a new piling rig type

the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. On the occasion, the local

LRB 355. To date, NSCC has six deep foundation machines from Lieb­

deep foundation company NSCC received its new Liebherr drilling

herr in operation.

rig type LB 36-410. The rig is part of a major contract made up of seven machines, which Liebherr will deliver to longstanding customer NSCC by sum8 PIC Magazine • June 2017

The first of the seven new machines was handed over at the premises of Liebherr Middle East FZE, which is responsible for the sales and service of the whole range of Liebherr products.

Taking the

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Piling Industry News

Digging deep to reach new heights Deep foundation work underway on new German Airbus Defence and Space technology centre Foundation work has begun for the construction of the Integrated Technology Centre in Immenstaad am Bodensee, Germany, an extension of the Airbus Defence and Space plant. The contracted deep foundation company, Kurt Motz Baubetriebsgesellschaft GmbH & Co., is using two Liebherr drilling rigs, an LB 28-320 and LB 36-410. The machines are installing cased-drilled

Liebherr drilling rigs type LB 28-320 and LB 36-410 carrying out foundation work.

piles for the foundation of the new building, which measures approximately 70 by 60 metres. The single piles are 40 metres long and have diameters of 75 and 90 centimetres. The total drilling length is 7,900 metres. Digging that deep poses a particular challenge — the facility is located near Lake Constance. To avoid groundwater and seawater, the contractor built a sheet pile wall using a Liebherr piling and drilling rig (LRB 125). Both Liebherr rigs are equipped with rotary drives type BAT 320 and BAT 410. The BAT series, developed by Liebherr, provides the necessary torque for a multitude of drilling applications. The automatic torque regulation and continuous speed optimization react flexibly to different soil conditions, ensuring optimum drilling progress. Liebherr says the rigs have smooth and precise control to provide excellent positioning in all fields of application. The electro-hydraulic proportional control enables several movements to be carried out at the same time with utmost precision. The LB 28-320 absorbs the rotary drive’s torque of 320 kNm as well as the 40-tonne push and pull force of the rope crowd system, ensuring quick work cycles. The parallel kinematics of the leader system allow for a large working radius and accurate and stable operation. Meanwhile, the LB 36-410 is the next largest model in the series and has a torque of 410 kNm. The machine weighs in at 127 tonnes. Despite its size, it’s easy to transport and has quick set-up times at the jobsite. The upper carriage is compact and designed for a small swing radius, allowing for work to be carried out efficiently even in restricted spaces. l 10 PIC Magazine • June 2017

Official handover of six new Liebherr LB machines to the company Kurt Motz.


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Saving time and money The Leica Geosystems iCON Piling Rig game changer By Melanie Franner Having come from Eastern Europe, Matus Toth was very familiar with the Leica Geosystems brand. So when the company he was working for in Edmonton decided to expand into underground infrastructure and foundation/ shoring work, Toth naturally looked back to his roots. “I have been in the surveying business for as long as I can remember,” states Toth of Kichton Contracting Ltd. “Five years ago, when Kichton decided to invest in machine control, I spearheaded the project of putting GPS systems on dozers. More recently, we began thinking of putting GPS systems on piling rigs. I did my due diligence. Leica Geosystems has a really good name in Europe. I saw how successful they have been with their GPS-enabled piling system. So that’s where I started.” Today, Kichton Contracting is working on a pilot project with Spatial Technologies, a Western Canadian distributor of Leica Geosystems products. Kichton is one of the first piling companies in Canada to do so. The new technology, which incorporates the Leica Geosystems iCON GPS system on piling rigs, has the potential to significantly change the future of the Canadian piling industry.

Ground-breaking growth Having begun as a family-owned and operated business in 1963, Kichton Contracting has expanded beyond its initial foray into civil, industrial, and commercial earthworks to oilfield, water/sewer operations, and foundations, including shoring and piling. The company is based in Edmonton, with a branch office in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. Toth has been using the Leica Geosystems iCON system on its piling rigs for about a month. And the experience – to date – has been very positive. “I love it,” states Toth. “It saves me so much time. Before, I had to go out and put every single piling point in the ground so that the guys would know where to drill. Now, I sit in my office and send the information to the machine.” The Leica Geosystems iCON system uses a 3D control panel, GPS receivers, and angle sensors to offer huge time and

12 PIC Magazine • June 2017

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Leica iCON iRD3/iRP3 - Driller & Piler System Ultimate control and efficiency for drillers and pilers.

GPS80 The Leica iCON GPS80 machine receiver shows you all GNSS relevant information on the built-in display.

iRD3 Drilling complex patterns is a breeze – even directional drilling is possible. Create drill patterns directly on the display, log holes on the fly and share with entire site via telematics. Log hole depth, angle and position and import drill patterns from telematics.

iRP3 The Leica iCON rig solution for drillers and pilers maximizes productivity in drilling and piling applications. Drilling and piling rigs can be guided easily into position via the control panel with a 3D design plan. There is no need to stake out the positions of the holes to be drilled or piles to be driven. The Leica iCON rig iRD3 and iRP3 solutions drastically reduce costs by eliminating dependency on stake outs. This solution gets the machine working sooner and keeps the operator on target with real-time feedback.

Eliminate stake out – start working right away. Document pile positions on the fly, with faster navigation between piles. Get real-time status of project with telematics.

cost savings with every drilling job by eliminating the need to stake out the work. It also provides for wireless updates of the project files and remote support via telematics. Other benefits include: increased safety – due to fewer people needed onsite; automated documentation so there is no need to survey the finished project; faster navigation between piles; and remote progress checks. According to Cletus Young, Manager for machine control and construction positioning, Spatial Technologies, the new iCON GNSS piling rig system can eliminate about 90 per cent of the survey costs on site. Given that, he adds, it could pay for itself on the first big job or a small number of lesser jobs. Either way, the savings will quickly pay for the initial investment.

Interest on the rise The Leica Geosystems iCON piling system was introduced in Europe in 2010. The technology has been available in Canada since the start of 2016. “So far, the larger manufacturers of drills and rigs, Atlas Copco, Sandvik, Bauer, Soilmec, Leibherr and Junntan have been the ones to fully embrace the technology,” states Magnus Thibblin, segment manager, NAFTA Machine Control, Leica Geosystems Inc. “But we’re seeing a big shift in interest from the general earth-moving machine control companies.” Kichton Contracting has been using the product on many of its piling jobs over the last month. “We’re getting a lot of interest already from what we’re doing with Kichton,” says Young. “And we’ve only just started working with them recently.”

Critical collaboration Although Toth is quick to say that the new Leica Geosystems product is easy to use and intuitive, he admits that there is a learning curve. “Because we use a variety of technology, the Leica system was a little different from what we were used to,” he explains. “We knew how things were supposed to work but it was sort of like Mac and PC. After about a day with the equipment, however, we knew what was going on.” Part of that learning experience required some close co-operation with Spatial Technologies and their local support team to get their other equipment to work with the Leica solution. For example, the former works on a 900MHz frequency while the latter is 400MHz. “Spatial Technologies was really good at helping us bridge the technologies,” says Toth. “They really helped us out.” There was also a bit of learning curve for the piling rig operator. “It was just a matter of establishing a new habit for the operator,” says Toth. “He had to get used to looking at the GPS display instead of out in the field. After using the system for about half a day, he was a happy camper.”

A promising future With Kichton Contracting already well in the midst of its pilot program with the Leica Geosystems iCON GPS piling system, interest in the product will undoubtedly continue to rise. As evidenced in Europe, the product has proven to be hugely advantageous for companies of all shapes and sizes. This can only translate into good news for the future of Canada’s piling industry. l

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14 PIC Magazine • June 2017

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Innovation through challenges How one company is making do with the space available A London, England-based team of engineers and consultants has come up with an innovative piled raft foundation solution for construction sites too tight to fit a piling rig — a method that could be used in urban areas around the world. Walsh has overcome a number of challenges with a 33-storey, 454unit student accommodation building at London’s Vauxhall, including a small 1,000 square-metre site next to a Network Rail viaduct and several other existing buildings and a tight building schedule. Those factors meant it wasn’t possible to undertake a pile load test, reducing the design factor of safety. Without the test, Walsh could only work with 1,200mm piles — but a rig to drive them in was too large for the site. In working with geotechnical consultants, Walsh came up with a solution — reducing the foundation loads by creating a lean concrete frame supported by a pile raft, using high and deep level ground support capacities to limit deflections. “Work on 5 Miles St. has certainly been challenging with the tight construction programme, small site and sensitive settlement require16 PIC Magazine • June 2017

ments,” says Walsh director Andy Stanford. “We have, however, undertaken a number of similar projects with Urbanest and Balfour Beatty who are always very supportive of us pushing the boundaries and using innovative solutions and technologies like the piled raft we adopted for this scheme”. The core that Walsh is designing will be slip formed. Drainage was placed on top to shorten design time, allowing foundation construction to begin prior to the drainage scheme being fixed. Water attenuation pipes were used instead of the typical attenuation tanks. Walsh, appointed as full-service structural and civil engineers, has undertaken the Network Rail liaison and negotiated all necessary technical approvals, including approval for all permanent structures and major temporary works systems, such as the slip form rig and a RMD screen that was incorporated within the piled raft as the collapse radius of the crane fell within Network Rail operational land. Construction of the student accommodation building at 5 Miles St. began July 2016 and is expected to wrap up at the end of 2017. l




Pile Weight

Wall Weight

Section Modulus

Moment of Inertia








NZ 14








NZ 19








NZ 20








NZ 21









NZ 26








NZ 28








As a premier steel foundation supplier now offering NZ sheets in addition to our extensive product line, Skyline Steel is the ideal partner for your next project.

Visit www.skylinesteel.com/nz or call 888.450.4330. © 2017 Skyline Steel, LLC. Skyline Steel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nucor Corporation, the largest producer of steel in the United States.

Calgary Zoo Flood Protection Project Keller Canada proud to assist PCL and the City of Calgary to protect the Calgary Zoo for generations to come Submitted by Keller Canada In 2013, historic flooding of the Bow River devastated the City of Calgary. St. George’s Island, home of the world-renowned Calgary Zoo since the 1920s and situated within the river, was engulfed by floodwater due to mountain runoff and significant rainfall in southwestern Alberta. As a result, the Calgary Zoo was severely impacted, facing an approximate $80-million loss due to damaged buildings and critical infrastructure, for the cost of protecting animals, and for a loss of revenue due to closure. Recent flood maps show the zoo is at risk of near complete inundation during a 1:20 year event. To protect the zoo from future events, the City of Calgary invested in the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project to preserve one of Calgary’s greatest assets and most important landmarks, allowing the zoo to continue teaching and delighting Calgarians and visitors from around the world for generations to come. The project included flood protection measures to protect against ground water flooding/saturation via a cut off wall and an above ground wall to prevent against overland flooding. The wall was designed to handle one metre above the 2013 flood levels, which is half a metre above the 1:100-year flood levels. Internal pumps were also part of the design to dispel water that might enter the zoo.


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The scope of the project was expanded to include a full reconstruction of Zoo Road to help all users feel safer and more comfortable for daily use, and to ensure a safe emergency route out of the Inglewood and Ramsay neighbourhoods existed. Improvements include wider vehicle lanes, a new four-metre pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, and improved lighting. The Calgary Zoo will also benefit from the floodwall, because a new enclosure on the east portion of the island will house the new lemurs exhibit scheduled to open later this summer. During the construction of the wall, the Calgary Zoo remained open and fully operational. Construction commenced in April 2016 and was completed in December 2016. Once project details were released, Keller Canada and PCL Construction Management began pursuing the project as partners. The tender process involved pre-qualification followed by a request for proposal (RFP). Due to early involvement as a team, Keller Canada and PCL found execution efficiencies and created a detailed execution plan with the submission. Keller also implemented a test program at a nearby site that had similar soil conditions to St. George’s Island. The advantage of doing testing during the tender stage helped to ensure the design was constructible and assisted in allowing the project team to optimize installation techniques. Ultimately, it played a key role in understanding the safety, quality, schedule and cost issues prior to project award and startup. The pursuit process went extremely well and allowed the team to disclose ideas, brainstorm and solve issues freely, openly and collaboratively. Ultimately, PCL Construction Management was awarded the project and, soon after, Keller Canada was issued a subcontract from PCL to supply and install the sheet pile portion of work. The project consisted of 1,578 paired sheet piles that ranged in length from 30 ft. to 72 ft. Sheet lengths were dependent on bedrock elevation in relation to working grade around the 2.1-kilometre perimeter of the island. The design required sheet piles to be advanced one metre into bedrock to act as a cutoff wall and, in specified areas, sheets were to remain three plus metres above grade to prevent overland flooding. As a result of the pre-bid test program, Keller chose to install the sheet piles using the vibratory method. NZ 26 sheet piles were manufactured by Skyline Steel, one of Keller’s preferred steel suppliers, to al20 PIC Magazine • June 2017

low for shorter lead times, due to the quick start-up upon award. For initial installation, Keller deployed two of their Leibherr LRB 255 units fixed with 40VML hammers and a LRB 155 fixed with a VML23 hammer. These units were key to setting and installing the sheets in tight areas­. A secondary drive was performed with a 110T crane fixed with a hanging APE 200-6 vibratory hammer. This was done to ensure the sheets were advanced into the underlying rock. On the southern portion of the island a “cap” sandstone rock was encountered. The vibratory hammers struggled to break through the extremely hard rock and it was decided to replace one of the LRB 255 VML 40 hammers with a V-9 impact hammer to ensure penetration through the cap rock. To the delight of the project team and the consultants, this approach worked extremely well. Using these installation techniques, all 1,578 paired sheets were installed into the rock as per the design requirements and were ultimately accepted by the design engineers. One of the many successes of the project was the advancement to the initial installation schedule, while keeping the zoo fully operational during construction. The original milestone schedule as part of the tender package indicated piling to be completed May 2017. Keller and PCL revised the schedule and proposed that pilling be completed on Dec. 23, 2016. As such, Keller installed the final sheet pile on Dec. 21, 2016. The daily crew consisted of approximately 20 workers and totaled over 25,225 manhours with all 1,578 paired sheets installed reaching their required acceptance criteria. One of the critical success factors of the project was the collaborative team approach. From the initial stages, the group openly discussed the project together, including a detailed partnering session post-award. This partnering session included the consultants for the project, key stakeholders, PCL and Keller Canada. It provided an opportunity for all parties to voice their concerns and discuss what each member would be relying on from one another within the group. Opening the lines of communication early made problem solving throughout the project much easier, following the vision of the late Calvin

McClary from ISL Engineering, who was the engineer of record for the project. Cal was a great leader for the group and he was dearly missed when he passed away a few weeks prior to the final sheet being installed. His approach to the project was so ingrained that the team continued to maintain his initial vision for the project after his passing. The project continued with a heavy heart, but we all know that he would have been extremely proud of the team’s achievement. The Calgary Zoo is well established with mature vegetation and several existing struc-

tures. It is currently occupied by a wide variety of animals and sees over 1.2 million visitors a year. These factors needed to be carefully considered while planning the project to ensure the design was met while not impacting the environment or day-to-day operations of the Calgary Zoo. Access to sheet locations for installation and the logistics of sheet delivery was also extensively planned to eliminate disruption. All in all, the project was an overwhelming success thanks to the close working relationship of all partners and stakeholders involved. l


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Piling Industry Canada • June 2017 21


WE ARE the CORNERSTONE of the FOUNDATION INDUSTRY. Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) was founded in 1918 as a provider of construction, industrial and material handling equipment. Today, ECA focuses primarily on providing the latest technology available to service the Foundation Industry. Through an exclusive partnership with Bauer Machine Group, ECA is the only partner company in the world to offer authorized sales, rental and service solutions for Bauer equipment. SE RV IC E S & T E C H NOL O GI E S ➭ New and Used Equipment Sales and Rentals ➭ Large Diameter Drill Rigs ➭ Earth Retention & Micropile Drills ➭ Fixed and Telescopic Mast Mobile Piling Rigs ➭ Pile Driving Equipment - Diesel - Hydraulic Impact - Free Hanging Vibratory Hammers - Excavator Mounted Vibratory Hammers - Excavator Mounted Side Grip Vibratory Hammers - Soil Mixing and Slurry Wall Equipment

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PKF-Mark III rented the RTG RM 20 pile driving rig with HRS 5 Hydraulic Hammer in August 2016 to support several foundation elements including 60,000 linear feet of H-piles.

PKF-Mark had historically relied on a crane-suspended pile hammer. It’s decision to rent pile driving rigs from ECA is paying off with doubled productivity, reduced labor, increased safety and cost-savings.

PKF’s bet on RTG pile driving rigs pays off big By Brian M. Fraley, Fraley Construction Marketing An RTG RM 20 pile driving rig hammers battered piles in the shadows of a Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge abutment on a narrow strip of land between an embankment and a roadway on a warm October morning in 2016. Upon driving an H-pile to refusal, the operator deftly executes a 180-degree turn within a confined space and crawls a short distance to retrieve the next H-pile. A worker from PKF-Mark III hooks it up, the rig lures and secures it, and then travels back to the work site. The mechanical process repeats itself over and over, indicating that serious productivity is afoot. The RM 20, preceded by the RG 19 T on the PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project, represents the willingness of a forward-thinking contractor to break with tradition to install bridge foundations. PKF historically relied on a crane-suspended pile hammer. Its decision to rent pile driving rigs from Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) is paying off with doubled productivity, reduced labor, increased safety, and cost-savings.

Connecting the missing link Interstate 95 from Maine to Florida was completed in 1969 with no connection to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Since that time, motorists have been forced to navigate crowded backroads to transfer between highways. The PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project — jointly owned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) — will create the missing link. Newtown, Pa.-based PKF has been plowing through Section D10 since being awarded the $142.9-million contract in August 2014. The 24 PIC Magazine • June 2017

firm is working aggressively to finish construction by October 2017. The contractor’s scope includes reconstructing and widening 2.5 miles of the Turnpike in Bucks County; building piers for the 14-span I-95 flyover ramp; replacing three mainline bridges; constructing a fourspan bridge; and repairing two bridges. This project has special meaning to PKF as a local contractor, according to vice-president Larry Keough. “It’s one of those signature jobs we’ve been focused on for many years, he says. “To have the privilege to be the first one out of the gate is pretty impressive.” Piling superintendent Sabrina Villanti sits in a job trailer rattling off details on bridges as if she keeps a set of plans in her head. “All of our piling is in the main five bridges on this contract,” she says over the muffled pounding of the RM 20 just outside. This contract consists of several foundation elements, including 60,000 linear feet of H-piles, roughly 31,000 square feet of soil nail wall earth support, 16,000 square feet of steel sheet pile earth support, and 6,000 linear feet of drilled shafts.

Abandoning the traditional method PKF has relied on a crane-suspended vibratory hammer with leaders since being founded in 1969. Breaking with tradition on a megaproject by switching to a pile driving rig might seem risky, but PKF planned it carefully. Keough clearly recalls the events leading up to the decision. The schedule dictated that PKF would need to run three pile driving operations concurrently. At the time, it was running two crawler cranes with vibratory hammers and the RG 19 T with a vibratory hammer.


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The HRS 5 accelerated hydraulic hammer delivered a higher percentage energy transfer and greater operating speed than a traditional diesel hammer.

PKF drove 14 x 89 H-piles to dense bedrock at 12 to 80 feet, although 35 feet was the average. Piles were capped with a heavy-duty steel tip for added penetration.

PKF considered renting a third crane and even purchased a second hammer. “We were seeing productions that were leaving the crane-suspended vibratory hammer in the dust,” Villanti says of the RG 19 T. “We were doubling, if not tripling production, based on how many sheets we could drive in a day.” PKF’s interest in the RM 20 had been piqued in winter 2015 during a demonstration at ECA’s Aldan, Pa. location. Although there was no need on the PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project at the time, PKF was impressed. ECA’s New York/New Jersey regional sales manager Bruce Langan arranged for the contractor to test the RM 20 on another project. The RM 20 took centre stage in August 2016. PKF’s decision to scratch the itch and try out ECA’s RM 20 paid off. Its ability to double production allowed the contractor to eliminate the third set-up altogether. The contractor further capitalized by putting the unused second crane to work with a crew of carpenters. “The RM 20 has essentially doubled my production,” says Keough. “Hence, I didn’t need a third set-up.”

More production, less labour The RM 20 also reduced manpower. The traditional set-up requires a crane operator supported by a full crew of pile drivers whereas the RM 20 requires an operator and a two-person crew. 26 PIC Magazine • June 2017

The crew has adapted well with the RM 20 as the centerpiece of the pile driving operation. PKF has two operators, neither of which are piling rig operators. The self-sufficiency of the RM 20 eliminated the need for one of our key foremen, according to Keough. “The RM 20 is so self-sufficient you don’t need a key foreman,” he says. “You just need one person on the ground and another feeding the machine and that’s your crew.” The primary operator boarded his first RTG Pile Driving Rig in summer 2015. ECA dispatched Langan and an ECA factory-trained service technician to the site at the outset to train the crew on the RM 20 set the pace for a smooth transition. “Given his experience with the previous machine (RG 19T) it only took him a couple of days to get acclimated,” Keough recalls, adding that ECA’s support was key. “He felt comfortable having a phone number he could call and get all of the information and make sure he was doing all the right things.” Keough says there was no question they were crushing labour production numbers, adding that driving piles using the RM 20 instead of the conventional way is more cost efficient, even with the price of the rental.

Feeding the beast The RM 20 gave PKF the ability to double production, but the onus was on its crew to maintain a steady supply of piles. Keough and the crew, recognizing the rig’s hyper efficiency, dubbed this process “feeding the beast.” It required both physical and mental effort for PKF’s crew. While the piles arrive on site marked with driving depths, they do not always match the supplied borings. It requires the team to choose and manage piles based on how the others are going in to avoid waste. PKF was accustomed to being able to revisit driven piles before splicing because the hammer with leader dangles overhead and can be repositioned. Using a track-mounted machine like the RTG required careful selection of pile sizes and immediate splicing in areas where driven piles were clustered several rows deep. PKF rose to the challenge, proven by the crew’s production rate of up to 20 piles installed per day.

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The RM 20 offered a level of confined space functionality and the ability to navigate challenging terrain, which would not have been possible with the traditional cranesuspended vibratory hammer with leaders.

The RM 20’s productivity dazzled PKF regardless of whether the piles were plumb or battered. The RM 20 can effectively drive battered piles because of its adjustable leader, which can tilt backward 45 degrees, and forward and sideways 18.5 degrees. The high turning point of the mast provides stability in even the most extreme inclinations.

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The RM 20 can effectively drive battered piles because of its adjustable leader, which can tilt backwards 45 degrees, and forward and sideways 18.5 degrees.

Upon evaluating the positioning of the piers and abutments, in addition to the topography, PKF recognized that positioning the crane at street level to service the pile driving operation presented challenges. The RM 20’s ability to maneuver on the jobsite proved essential. “The RM 20 is perfect for this project because you have high mobility in a confined area,” says Dirk Himborg, North America sales director for Rammtechnik, GmbH. “The rig has the option to be fitted with a hydraulically-driven mast foot and back jack-ups to facilitate lifting and rotation of the undercarriage, which is especially helpful on uneven surfaces and confined work spaces.” It was not just the RM 20’s confined space functionality, but also its ability to navigate challenging terrain, especially mud. While a crane could have been positioned to avoid the mud altogether, the problem on PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project was that there was often nowhere to position it. Villanti recalled an instance where PKF needed to relocate the pile driving operation to the other side of a bridge with a 13 ½-foot clearance. The operator hydraulically tucked the RM 20’s mast down and crawled underneath. Breaking down and relocating a crane would have been cost-prohibitive.

HRS 5 hydraulic hammer delivers power surge PKF had been using the RG 19 T piling rig with a vibratory hammer in summer 2015 before the RM 20 with an HRS 5 accelerated hydraulic hammer took up a permanent position on the site. The RG 19 T was driving sheeting and soldier piles for non-load bearing applications, but traffic was shifted onto newly constructed facilities in September 2016, prompting the need for a different approach. “This is an accelerated hammer so whatever position you have you get a double push,” says Himborg. “It gives the ram weight not only an up push, but also a push down so you don’t lose any energy. You’re not relying strictly on gravity.” The HRS 5 delivers up to 53,104 foot-pounds. PKF especially appreciated the ability to adjust the energy going into the hammer with the flick of a thumb. The HRS 5 not only delivers a higher percentage energy transfer than a traditional diesel hammer, it is also faster, delivering 50 to 170 blows per minute. The rate was so rapid that the on-site PennDOT inspector had concerns about being able to keep track of the pile count. Fortunately, the RM 20 records the count, which alleviated that issue. The added power of the RM 20 with HRS 5 facilitated compliance with an aggressive PennDOT specification, which requires 20 blows per inch to refusal on bedrock. PKF was penetrating a silty sand surface, underlain by a tougher layer of saprolite, which varied in depth. PKF drove 14 x 89 H-piles to dense bedrock at 12 to 80 feet, although 35 feet was the average. Piles were capped with a heavy-duty steel tip for added penetration.

RM 20 makes PKF a better neighbor PKF was driving piles with hammers and leads from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Despite 28 PIC Magazine • June 2017

its respect for local noise ordinances, Keough admits that some nearby residents expressed concern. “When we switched to the RM 20 there were no complaints even though we were closer to the neighborhood,” he recalls. “You can stand 30 feet away from that hammer (HRS 5) and not wear ear protection whereas you couldn’t do that in the traditional setup.” “It’s much quieter than any traditional pile driver out there,” says Langan. “There is a noise percussion system built into the hammer to eliminate the ring I call the church bell sound when you hit steel on steel.” The HRS 5 contains a drive cap system, an easily replaceable plastic insert that prevents steel-on-steel contact.

More RTG rigs, foundation work in PKF’s future PKF and ECA have enjoyed a 20-plus year relationship. “We’ve bought a lot of equipment from ECA over the years,” Keough says. “The one thing that we know after using the RG 19 T and the RM 20 is that given the right circumstances there’s no question we would purchase those units in lieu of the traditional crane, hammer and leads.” And the opportunity is likely to increase. PKF, once focused only on self-performing its foundation work on its heavy/highway construction projects throughout eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and northern Delaware, will now provide this work as subcontractor. Based on its successful switch on the PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project, the odds look good that the fleet will include RTG Pile Driving Rigs. l

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PKF-Mark III piling superintendent Sabrina Villanti and ECA New York/New Jersey regional sales manager Bruce Langan worked closely to keep the RTG pile driving rigs operating at peak performance on the PA Turnpike/I-95 Interchange Project.


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The secret to


By Gregory M. Landry, P.E., chief dewatering engineer, Moretrench There is an old joke at work that defines dewatering as “that element of an underground construction project, which, when disregarded, will generate the low bidder.” Sigmund Freud wrote that all jokes are true, and the kernel of truth behind this one is that dewatering is often misunderstood or neglected until the last possible moment in the life of a project. It’s time to clear up a pervasive but fundamental misunderstanding on how to determine the amount of dewatering required for a project, and become more knowledgeable in commonly used dewatering methods.

The Tools of Dewatering Dewatering may be divided into two broad categories: methods that remove water from the excavation after it has already entered, and methods that seek to exclude or intercept the water before it reaches the excavation. The former is generally self-performed by general or earth moving contractors using sumps and ditches, while the latter is usually done by a specialty contractor. 30 PIC Magazine • June 2017

Sumps Properly installed sumps can be an effective and economical way to control water inflow into a site. In this technique, groundwater is allowed to enter the site before being pumped away. This method is low cost, offers easy availability of equipment and can be performed by a general contractor. However, caution should be used when deciding whether to use this method, and consideration should be given to several factors: • How will the soil behave under seepage forces? Will it run, potentially causing ground loss? • How much groundwater lowering is required? If the groundwater only needs to be lowered a few feet, using sumps will be much more practical than for a situation that requires significant drawdown. • Will the excavation subgrade soften or otherwise be damaged by allowing water to run over it? • Is my workforce skilled enough to imple-

ment and manage the sumping plan? As pictured, the sump is capturing groundwater that has already entered the excavation by traveling under the sheets. In this instance, the house in the background of the photo was eventually purchased by the project owner after sustaining damage due to ground loss.

A poorly constructed sump discharging turbid water.


Wellpoints Wellpoints are likely the most versatile and widely-used dewatering tool. Wellpoints are small diameter vertical tubes, typically 38 to 51 millimetres, with slotted or perforated bottoms. The wellpoints may be installed by jetting using pressurized water, typically in loose granular formations like beach sand, or installed by conventional drilling methods. Wellpoints may be economically installed on close centre-to-centre spacing, making them ideal for addressing soils with low hydraulic conductivity or for sites with coarse over fine (sand over clay, for example) geological interfaces. Both of these conditions require close spacing of devices to overcome the difficulty of removing groundwater from these environments. Wellpoints are connected by a common header pipe and pumped by a single pumping station. The pumping station has three functions: 1. Apply vacuum to the header pipe and to the wellpoints by pumping air. 2. Separate the air/water mixture drawn toward the pump, usually by applying the vacuum to a “knockout tank� placed in front of the pumping station, where the air will tend to rise and be drawn to the source of vacuum. 3.  Pump the water passing through the knockout tank and expel it to the discharge point. The major drawback of wellpoints is that, since they operate on vacuum, they are limited in how far they can draw the water down. Practical achievable drawdown by wellpoints in the field are often cited as being between 4.6 and 5.5 metres, but this will depend on soil type, distance from the wellpoint line to the point of observation, intensity of pumping, and a number of other factors. I have personally observed wellpoints pumping under 3.8 litres per minute to over 189 litres per minute.

Deep Wells Deep wells can be simple and cost-effective dewatering tools, but their applicability is much more limited than wellpoints. In a typical application, deep wells will be installed around an excavation perimeter on a wide spacing, typically 9.1 metres or 32 PIC Magazine • June 2017

Grid of closely-spaced wellpoints installed in low hydraulic conductivity coal ash (note the pumping equipment in the background).

greater between wells, and, under the right geological conditions, deep wells may be the lowest cost method of dewatering an excavation. Deep wells generally consist of largediameter slotted screen and casing, typically around 10 centimetres or larger, installed in a jetted or drilled hole. Each deep well is then equipped with an individual submersible turbine or right-angle drive pump. As previously mentioned, wellpoints are often used to pump from low hydraulic conductivity aquifers or aquifers with complex geology. Deep wells are generally preferable in aquifers that are homogeneous, have a relatively high hydraulic conductivity, and are deep compared to the proposed depth of excavation and the amount of drawdown required. These are the conditions that deep wells rely upon to be effective, as these conditions allow each well to affect a large area and to not be limited in capacity by native geology.

Unlike wellpoints, deep wells are not inherently limited in drawdown. The amount of drawdown is limited only by the geology of the site, the depth of the deep wells, and the size of the pumps in the wells. Deep wells may yield from under 3.8 litres per minute to well over 3,785 litres per minute.

Ejectors Ejectors combine some characteristics from both wellpoints and deep wells. In an ejector system, a pump at the surface forces pressurized water down a dedicated pipe in a well and through a small nozzle. When the water passes through the nozzle, it creates a drop in pressure (suction) that draws water into the well from the aquifer. The originally pressurized water and the newly pumped water combine above the nozzle and return to the surface. Excess water overflows to a discharge point, and the remaining water flows back to the surface pump to begin the

Widely-spaced deep wells in a uniform sandy aquifer.

cycle again. Leather packers and one-way valves ensure the pressurized water cannot leave the loop and escape into the well. Ejectors come in two types: single-pipe and two-pipe. They both work using the mechanism described above, but single-pipe ejectors fit in 51 millimetre diameter wells, while two-pipe ejectors fit in 102 millimetre diameter wells. The advantage of ejectors is that even though they work on vacuum like wellpoints, they are not limited in drawdown because the vacuum is generated inside the well rather than at the surface. Also, like wellpoints, ejectors have a relatively low unit cost, and can therefore be installed on close centre-to-centre spacing to address aquifers with low hydraulic conductivity or difficult layering. The drawbacks of ejectors include double-piping requirements (one line for pressurized supply and one for return water), energy inefficiency and the inability to pump large volumes of water. Ejector systems convert about 15 per cent of the electricity delivered to the supply pump into actual pumping power in the well. Therefore, it is impractical to pump large flows with this type of system. Most “off the shelf ” ejector parts will be ineffective in trying to pump more than 18.9 litres per minute.

The Secret to Dewatering

Schematic diagram for a single-pipe ejector.

Schematic diagram for a two-pipe ejector.

34 PIC Magazine • June 2017

The three main dewatering tools (sumps excluded) described above are really just three different ways of attacking the same problem: how does one safely and economically lower the groundwater to allow the project to succeed? Many practitioners become fixated on whether their project needs wellpoints, deep wells, ejectors or some combination thereof. The truth is that the aquifer doesn’t know which type of system is installed or about the details of the plumbing that make it work. The aquifer only feels a few things: • The spacing of the dewatering devices — how frequently there is a pickup point where the groundwater may enter the system. • The yield of the dewatering devices. • Whether the device exerts vacuum on the formation. When speaking to various industry groups or meeting with potential clients, I have often heard a couple sentiments expressed: “I have a project that needs dewatering but the aquifer is shallow and not very permeable, so it won’t be a big problem,” and “I have a project that needs dewatering in a very permeable and deep sand and gravel aquifer. It’s going to be a tough dewatering job.” Both statements reflect a misunderstanding of the challenges and costs associated with dewatering. This misunderstanding is held by the construction industry at all levels including contractors, project owners and consulting engineers, and essentially equates flow rate with difficulty. Consider a scenario like the one described in the first statement above. Consider a low hydraulic conductivity silty sand aquifer underlain by an impermeable layer just below the proposed excavation. The drawdown curve in a high hydraulic conductivity aquifer is generally flat (each device has a large area of influence), while the curve in a low conductivity aquifer is generally steep. Therefore, in this case, each dewatering device will have a relatively small area of influence, requiring closer spacing. This problem cannot be solved by simply pumping more water from each device. The lower conductivity will also limit the capacity of the

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dewatering system to yield water, meaning that installing a larger pump will be a wasted effort and result in greater energy costs for no improvement in results. Furthermore, the impermeable layer just below the excavation will also hinder dewatering. If the aquifer extended well below the excavation, the dewatering devices could be installed deeper to induce vertical drainage. However, in this case, the devices may only be installed to the top of the impermeable layer, forcing them to sip off the top of the layer. This will result in mounds of residual groundwater between the wells, unless the well spacing is close enough to prevent it. The classic dewatering approach to this problem would be a closely spaced system of wellpoints or ejectors. In the difficult conditions described above, the biggest challenge is not pumping the water out of the devices but providing enough opportunity for the water to enter the system. Therefore, we can see how an increased dewatering effort may be required even in a scenario where a low system flow is to be expected. The opposite case is well illustrated with a short case history. Moretrench was contracted to perform dewatering over a large area in a coastal plain aquifer, which consisted of homogeneous fine sand and was deep relative to the amount of groundwater lowering required. Moretrench was told to assume a hydraulic conductivity of about 200 gpd/ft2 (10-2 cm/s). Based on the information given, 19 deep wells were installed including appropriately-sized pumps, piping and electrical

systems. Subsequent pump testing revealed that the aquifer was actually 10 to 15 times more permeable than previously thought. Luckily, analysis of the test results showed that no additional drilling was required, and the project could be dewatered simply by upgrading the pumps and associated mechanical systems. Although the system flow rate was significantly greater than originally anticipated, the dewatering system was able to meet the project goals with only a modest increase in cost due to favorable geology. The high transmissivity of the aquifer allowed groundwater to flow easily to the deep wells, and all that was needed was an increase in pumping horsepower. It is apparent, then, that proper dewatering design relies on a detailed site investigation and more information than is commonly included in most geotechnical reports: • Borings that clearly identify coarse over fine soil interfaces. The previously described interface problem can occur even with very thin layers that are often missed with standard split spoon samples every 1.5 metres. This risk could be reduced by using continuous sampling or by combining standard borings with cone penetrometer testing, offering near-continuous sampling. • Borings that extend well beyond the proposed depth of excavation to confirm that the aquifer may be relied upon below the excavation or that an interface condition exists. • An estimate of hydraulic conductivity based on in-situ testing, such as slug tests, or pref-

Two similar dewatering scenarios. 36 PIC Magazine • June 2017

erably a pump test. Values of hydraulic conductivity in nature may vary by more than 14 orders of magnitude. Therefore, it is often worthwhile to use the geotechnical investigation stage of a project to narrow the range. This leads us finally to the secret to dewatering. People who subscribe to the two erroneous statements above believe that it is about figuring out the best way to pump water out of a well. However, those in the know understand that the true secret to dewatering is convincing the water to enter the well in the first place. l Gregory M. Landry, P.E., is chief dewatering engineer for specialty geotechnical contractor Moretrench. He is responsible for the supervision of the company’s engineering team and other professionals who perform design and analysis, cost estimating, installation, and management of dewatering and groundwater control systems. He also oversees Moretrench’s groundwater modeling team, combining the latest in computer-driven techniques and traditional analytical methods backed by hands-on experience. He can be contacted at glandry@moretrench.com. This article was originally published in DFI’s bi-monthly magazine, Deep Foundations, May/June 2017 issue. DFI is an international technical association of firms and individuals involved in the deep foundations and related industry. Deep Foundations is a member publication. To join DFI and receive the magazine, go to www.dfi.org for further information.

Two now one Northstar Sharp’s sees great success and attention after amalgamation

If you are remotely involved in the Canadian construction industry, the names Northstar and Sharp’s Construction are names you would likely recognize and quite possibly have worked with in the past. Both companies have established themselves as reputable foundation specialists and each have excelled in diversifying themselves to provide services for the energy sector, the civil/industrial sector as well as the electrical transmission and distribution sector. Now, the two have come together to show the piling world all that can be offered. “The hardest part of the amalgamation was deciding what to call the new company,” says 38 PIC Magazine • June 2017

Tony Evangelista, director of projects. “Both companies had established such a great rapport throughout the years, we didn’t want to lose the recognition of either name.” So, they combined the names and the rest is history. Actually, history is the wrong word for a company that is about to take the piling world by storm with their combined equipment, resources and, most importantly, staff. Both companies have built themselves over the years by employing the right people, whether it be at the head offices in Leduc, Calgary and Grand Prairie, or the field operations across Western Canada. Sharp’s Construction has grown over the past 30 years and is the pride

of Kevin Sharp (general manager of Northstar Sharp’s) as it was for his father before him. Northstar has a similar history, setting up in 2005 as a family startup. It has also grown monumentally, with Tony Evangelista being an integral part of the success for the past 11 years. The employees take great ownership in the company and this is why they’ve been so successful throughout the years. You could also argue that the impressive fleet of equipment is nothing to sneeze at either; the 40-ton picker units, 100 and 200-ton crawler cranes, an impressive fleet of Junttans, Soilmecs and Watsons not only contribute to completing jobs

on time, but doing so in an efficient and safe manner that keeps the clients coming back. There’s not much left on the table as a company when you’re able to provide stamped design drawings for design/build requirements at any level of a project while demonstrating the highest level of expertise through the final supply and installation of driven, helical and drilled cast-in-place piles alongside any additional anchoring and direct embedment requirements. Northstar Sharp’s also has a dedicated unit that focuses on temporary and permanent bridge construction. You are bound to attract attention when you are showing success year after year. With attention, comes interest from large billion-dollar corporations like Quanta Services and Valard Construction. Although Northstar Sharp’s falls under the Quanta/Valard umbrella, staff have been given the directive to, quite simply, “Keep doing what you’re doing, and we’ll be here if you need us.” Now with the financial backing of American conglomerate, Quanta Services out of Houston, partnered with the mentorship of Canadian powerhouse, Valard Construction, Northstar Sharp’s will be a company to watch in the next 10 years. l Piling Industry Canada • June 2017 39

Helical (screw) pile foundations a solution for varying conditions Inland Screw Piling was contracted to provide the helical pile foundations for the Pathway 7 stairs project in Lethbridge.

Inland Screw Piling Ltd. has been engineering, manufacturing, and installing helical piles since 2007. We provide in-house fabrication out of a dedicated CWB-certified manufacturing shop located in Coaldale, Alta. An on-site high-definition CNC plasma table is used to cut helixes, and a customized hydraulic press with matching metal dies is used to press form the helixes into “true-pitch” helixes that set us apart from the competition. Our shop is also equipped to process and fabricate miscellaneous ancillary structural steel as required for projects. Inland Screw Piling provided and installed the piles needed to support three new flights of stairs as part of a pathway down to the River Valley behind Heritage Heights.

Inland installed 62 piles on the slope of the coulee with minimal disturbance to the existing landscape.

40 PIC Magazine • June 2017

Screw piles have been used extensively in the oil and gas sectors for decades. They are now also commonly used in the residential, commercial, institutional and industrial marketplaces. There are many advantages to helical piling. There is no excavation required and the load-bearing capabilities are immediate. In areas with high water tables or sand/ gravel soil layers there is no need for casing. They are also quiet to install compared to other piling methods and can be installed in any weather condition with minimal additional equipment and cost. They offer instant solutions to many varying soil conditions. Ensuring the helices are formed into a truepitch shape is the most critical aspect of a helical pile. During fabrication, the helix flange must start perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the pile shaft and remain so around the entire surface of the helix. Providing a “true-pitch� helix is vital to ensure the pile screws into the load-bearing strata as intended by displacing soil instead of simply disturbing it and auguring or grinding its way down into the ground. Piles fabricated with true-pitch helixes provided certainty that the pile will perform as engineered because it eliminates potential voids above or below the helix that would potentially introduce moisture buildup or settlement. Inland provides project-specific engineerstamped drawings that come with recommended minimum installation torque values to verify soil conditions are as anticipated. If

these minimum values cannot be obtained during installation, extensions can be quickly added as needed to ensure the pile is situated in a soil layer capable of resisting the required loads. The torque readings obtained during installation are monitored with calibrated digital load cells to ensure quality control during installation and at the end of each job, these torques are reviewed by an engineer. Inland Screw Piling was recently contracted to provide the helical pile foundation for the Pathway 7 Stairs project in Lethbridge, Alta. Our scope was to provide and install the piles needed to support three new flights of

stairs as part of a new pathway down to the River Valley behind Heritage Heights on the west side. Due to the majority of the working area being a steep coulee slope, this required a unique approach to both bringing our installation equipment down the slope and installing the piles. While maintaining strict attention to safety and engineering requirements, Inland was able to install the required 62 piles on the slope of the coulee with minimal disturbance to the existing landscape. We are proud to have been a part of this highly successful project that is enjoyed daily by Lethbridge residents. l

Piling Industry Canada • June 2017 41

Soilmec has recently updated one of its most successful models, the SR-45 hydraulic drilling rig.



Big Rig


Even in tough times, top brands never betray the expectations. Combining renowned Italian creativity with technological excellence, Soilmec has 50 years of know-how to face international market challenges. Soilmec has recently updated one of its most successful models, the SR-45 hydraulic drilling rig. Powered by Cummins, the SR-45 has been specially designed for suiting applications such as cased bore piles with casing driven directly by rotary head or optionally by casing oscillator powered by the base carrier itself, deep uncased bored piles stabilized by drilling fluid or dry hole, CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) piles by means of long auger string, DP (Displacement Piles)/ TCT (traction compacting tool) and TJ(Turbojet®)/TTJ (Twin Shaft Turbojet) for soil consolidation.

A brand new design The SR-45 represents a new approach to the hydraulic drills market. The basic rig has been completely redesigned to offer greater comfort and safety on site. It features special solutions such as the casings entirely covered with sound damping and absorbing material, the totally redesigned walkways, handrails and the camera system complete with an LCD screen to guarantee the best possible safety for the operator. The latest Soilmec “H-Cab” with sliding doors, a touch-screen DMS adjustable monitor and more ergonomic controls and knobs to offer the operator a significantly greater comfort. All packed in a sturdy and reliable technological package powered by a Cummins QSB6.7 Tier4 engine, capable of delivering high power (201kW at 2000 rpm) while maintaining efficiency and flexibility.

Easy to configure The SR-45 has been designed to meet different geological and operational conditions, using each time the most suitable drilling technologies. This concept is accurately reflected by its outfit, which includes a rotary table designed to give a particularly compact and flattened shape to the case, bringing considerable advantages also with regard to its weight. It was also designed to facilitate maintenance

Above: The SR-45 is equipped with the Soilmec DMS system in order to have total control over the rig performance and site production rates. Top right: The SR-45 has been designed to meet different geological and operational conditions. Bottom right: The SR-45 is equipped with a device that can automatically move the mast from the transportation condition to the working position and vice versa.

operations and deliver a maximum torque of 185 kNm. The mast, which is completely new, is built with high strength steel that allows streamlining the rig for easier portability and optimizing the balance in the front part of the drill rig by improving its stability. The rig is also equipped with a device capable of automatically moving the mast from the transportation condition to the working position and vice versa, which is particularly functional because the SR-45 can be transported complete with kelly bar hence reducing the site installation times. The SR-45 can be optionally equipped with a mast extension that allows using 5x13 five self-erecting masts and drilling up to a depth of 61.5 metres.

Precision drilling The SR-45 is equipped with the Soilmec DMS system in order to have total control over the rig performance and site production rates. DMS — Drilling Mate System — is a project born in the mid-1990s with the aim of providing to both operator and jobsite personnel an active instrument to control and interact with the machine. It features characteristics such as CAN OPEN bus, full colour touch-screen suitable for the drilling field, diesel engine electronic control unit and machine parameters interface, easy troubleshooting and a double PLC redundant system for superior reliability. The DMS, thanks to its software, can collect, display and process via a PC all the data collected by the machine (drilling and concreting parameters), allowing it to create jobsite reports, analyze production and processing, plan machine maintenance, etc. The field response has been very positive with excellent production rates achieved as the rig integrates perfectly with the other Soilmec grout line equipment being used, demonstrating that the SR-45 ADV is a little big rig. l


Profile for DEL Communications Inc.

Piling Industry Canada Issue 1 2017  

Piling Industry Canada Issue 1 2017