Fort Ellsworth Condominium

Foundation Underpinning and Building Envelope Evaluation and Repair

Fort Ellsworth Condominium:
Alexandria, Va.

Building Usage: Five (5) Stand-alone Occupied Residential Condominium Buildings

Number of Stories: 4 stories

Construction Contract Value: $1 Million (approximate)

Type of Work: The structural work included the installation of helical piers to underpin the existing foundations, installation of mechanical connections to develop a diaphragm at each floor line and the engagement of the floor system to the walls. The exterior and interior masonry bearing walls required reconstruction or repair at numerous locations throughout the building. Subsurface and grade level drainage amendments were also developed to help manage surface water at the building’s perimeter. Concrete caisson’s were augured into the embankment behind the building to stabilize the slope upon which the building was founded.

SRG’s Role: During the course of our engagement with this property which has spanned over 14 years, SRG has been involved on several projects at the property. The most significant involved the investigation and remedial design of a foundation stabilization program to prevent collapse of a four story structure. SRG was initially retained to investigate unstable masonry walls (displaced/bulged) visible in the rear of the building. The buildings utilize masonry bearing walls with pre-cast pre-stressed hollow core floor planks and metal and wood roof trusses. The services of a Geotechnical consultant were also required to perform a subsurface assessment while SRG performed a detailed investigation of the above ground portions of the structure. The findings from these two investigations revealed that the building was unstable and the foundations were experiencing both a slope failure as well as a marine clay related shrink-swell issue. These combined issues required that the residents of the subject building be relocated to other housing while the structural repairs were undertaken.  SRG provided bidding services and served as the Engineer of Record and Special Inspector as required by the City during the various construction phases.