Ground Improvement by vibrodisplacement (stone columns) is an extremely economical means of enhancing ground bearing capacity and limiting settlements in geotechnically difficult and problematic soils. The technique can elevate the site soil conditions to a level that will perform satisfactorily for the engineering requirements of the proposed structure.
It has been recognised and used effectively in the UK for more than 30 years. The vibrodisplacement technique displaces the ground laterally therefore producing no arisings to dispose of at the surface. This is doubly beneficial if contaminated soils are involved.
The technique allows buildings to be supported on relatively simple and lightly reinforced foundations at shallow depths below ground level with values of differential and total settlements within acceptable limits. Programme periods onsite can be dramatically reduced allowing follow on trades to be introduced much earlier.
Depending on the ground conditions and performance requirements the technique can be appropriate to support foundations for residential, low rise and industrial buildings. It can also be utilised for treatment to floor slabs, tanks and embankments.
Upon completion of the treatment foundations may be constructed at normal depths while floor slabs or areas of hardstanding may generally be constructed after proof rolling of the surface. The technique can be used in a wide range of natural soils or in made ground provided that there is not excessive organic content, high silt content or degradable materials.