Project Summary

Vancouver School Board

Geotechnical Engineering

Property, Buildings and Facilities

Project Description

The Vancouver School Board selected RAM’s geotechnical team to provide geotechnical design services for the seismic upgrade of Dr. George M. Weir Elementary School in East Vancouver. The existing main building, gym and library were built in the 1960s and do not meet current seismic standards. The seismic upgrade will include construction of a new, at-grade two storey building founded over an underground tunnel.

The new building would be situated in soft / compressible surficial fill, peat and silt/clay material in a location established as having ‘potential sensitivity to water table changes’ by the City of Vancouver and would therefore require a hydrogeological study.

RAM’s geotechnical team identified that the soft / compressible surficial soils could be susceptible to liquefaction or cyclic softening during a seismic event, therefore the new building foundations could not be supported upon these surficial soils. Following consultation with local contractors, RAM’s geotechnical team determined that the most practical and economically feasible solution would be to excavate the soft/ compressible soils to the depth of suitable bearing material. The excavations would then be backfilled with compacted sand and gravel or lean mix concrete, to underside of the building footings, allowing the building loads to be supported upon suitable bearing material.

RAM’s geotechnical team also prepared a Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management Report to address the City of Vancouver’s building permit requirements.

RAM’s Role

  • Site Investigation
  • Soft ground Condition Assessment
  • Groundwater Assessment and Analyses
  • Liquefaction Assessment
  • Temporary Excavation Design
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Design