A large modern foodstore and non-food retail units on a site formerly occupied by a large plastics moulding factory. The old factory was demolished as part of a site preparation contract and all granular material crushed for re-use as hardcore and sub-base during the building contract.
Extreme variations in ground conditions were encountered on the site which adjoined Lough Erne resulting in a variety of sub-structure solutions being required. The main store has shallow pad and strip foundations bearing onto stiff boulder clay with a ground bearing slab. Two of the retail units nearer to the Lough were treated by vibro compaction with continuous reinforced concrete beam foundations and a ground bearing slab.
However ground conditions beneath the final retail unit and the service yards and access road nearest to the Lough required full piling with suspended slabs. The existing levels in these areas required to be raised and trial earthworks were carried out to ascertain whether the existing ground could sustain any additional load from filling, but this immediately induced significant settlement and rotational slips in the very soft saturated organic material beneath. The original design concept was therefore reverted to that of a low level fully piled slab upon which fill material was placed to construct conventional ground bearing external pavements and slabs.
The working platform for the piling rigs near to water level in the Lough also required very careful consideration and the use of multiple layers of geotextiles and granular.