Our manufacturing facility is in an old tile manufacturing facility,
originally built around the 1890's. The entire property is riddled
with brick lined tunnels. We are interested in adding a free standing
50' x 100' x 16' eaves metal building. Current building design calls
for concrete column footings of 3' x 3' x 3'. This would require a
caving in and compacting procedure that would be quite expensive. Does
any one know if such a building has ever been built entirely above
ground? All ideas, comments, and suggestions will be greatly
appreciated. Thanks, K.
I'm not an architect/engineer but I'll get things rolling for you.
What climate are you in?
How deep are the tunnels?
Can you move the building to miss the tunnels?
How big are the tunnels?
Do you have any other environmental issues?
What kind of floor do you need and what loading for it?
How are you getting utilities in?
Piles or caissons located between tunnels going to solid bearing, with grade
beams between. These could be quite far apart and at varying spacing with
the columns evenly spaced along the grade beam. Chuck should also answer
this as he is a structural engineer. Depending upon loads, you may need a
structured slab. Light loading could be slab-on-grade. All the above is
expensive. Good luck.
We are in the midwest - KS/OK - and this time of year the climate is
The tunnels vary from 4' wide x 2' tall to 4' wide x 5' tall. Most are
covered by 6" or so of soil then a 6" concrete w/embedded railroad
rail surface. We've been forklifting over these concrete surfaces with
gvw's of ranging from 5000# to 12,000# for 20 some years now with only
a couple of places showing any sign of softness.
Our test drilling indicates that moving the site to miss the tunnels
is not a feasible choice.
The building floor as planned is 6", 6 sack concrete.
Our only utility requirement is electricity and it will be going
overhead from one building to another. Span between buildings will be
appxly 75' until the next remodel project which will reduce that to
One environmental issue is drainage and the natural elevation is to
our advantage. Another is the elevation. The building is planned to
set N to S along the 100' length. There is a drop of nearly 3' N to S
along that 100' length. E to W is nearly level. This setting also
gives the full 100' x 16' surface a western exposure. Winds typically
range from SE - W - NE. An easterly wind is uncommon. Our strongest
winds typically come from the west and have exceeded 90 mph - once
maybe every 10 - 15 years. Beyond that winds with gusts up to 60 mph
happen maybe 1 - 2 times a year. At the presrent time there is a dense
stand of trees, maybe as tall as the peak of the planned building,
nearly abutting our entire west line which the building will be within
35'. Rainfall averages 45" per year.
Is this the type of info you were looking for?
Why would it require caving in and compacting? Just close off the
ends of the tunnel where you need a footing and pour the footing, The
tunnels are deep enough.
I'd also consider keeping those tunnels for running utilities,
drainage, etc. You have ready made access tunnels that aren't
included in more construction because they're too expensive to put in.
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