Up-Down Construction Utilizing Steel Sheet Piles and Drilled Shaft Foundations
The use of steel sheet pile walls and drilled shaft foundation elements to enable up-down construction methods has been used successfully on recent high-rise structures with multi-story below grade parking. The John Ross Tower and The 3720 Tower in Portland, Oregon each make use of this system and are discussed in-depth. Up-Down construction involves the simultaneous construction of the building levels above and below grade instead of the standard construction technique of excavating and shoring the below grade construction before being able to build upward from the base of the excavation.
Advantages of the up-down system include a shortened overall construction schedule, permanent basement walls that double as the temporary shoring walls, elimination of the typical continuous wall footing or grade beam at the building perimeter, increased use of recycled material (steel) while maintaining an over all decrease in total materials, elimination of wall forming costs, decreases in forming costs for slabs, decreases in waterproofing costs for walls and elimination of pile caps and/or footings for the building columns. Lessons learned during the construction of both buildings include the need for more extensive geotechnical boring information, descriptive sheet pile and drilled shaft specifications, a clear understanding from the design team on finished appearance of sheet pile and shafts, and careful consideration of the connection between both slabs and the sheet pile wall and slabs and drilled shafts.
Nathan A. Ingraffea, P.E., S.E.
Associate, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Portland, Oregon, USA