GEOPIER® GP3® vs. Helitech® VSCs

Soil conditions can vary greatly within a single job site. The characteristics of the in-situ soil play a crucial role in determining which ground improvement technique or group of techniques is best for each particular project.

Vibro stone columns are currently one of the most commonly used ground improvement systems. They are designed to improve the load-bearing capacity of the surrounding soil and reduce excessive settlement. The Geopier® GP3® System reinforces poor soils like clay, silt, sand, gravel, and variable fill by using replacement Rammed Aggregate Pier® (RAP) elements.

GEOPIER® GP3® Rammed Aggregate Pier® System vs. Helitech®’s Direct Displacement VSC System

Both systems have their own set of pros and cons, so we’re going to examine the differences of each – comparing each specific system (not including other capabilities of each company) to the other – and the potential ways they could impact the quality, cost, and schedule of your project.

GEOPIER® GP3® System Rammed Aggregate Pier® (RAP)Helitech®‘s Direct Displacement System – VSCsPotential Project Impact
Design Quality AssuranceAn individually licensed designer will provide an initial and final design for the GEOPIER® system. Their review process is completed by affiliated firms.Helitech® utilizes an independent engineering firm to peer review Helitech®‘s designs and then sign and seal these design-build solutions.

Quality
System SpoilsLicensed GEOPIER® installers will employ a “Drill and Fill” method when using the GP3® System. This method will produce significant spoils that will need to be handled and hauled away.Helitech®‘s Direct Displacement System (DDS), minimizes spoils. DDS is a great approach where contaminated soils may exist.

Cost

Schedule
Installation ApproachUsing a “Drill and Fill” approach with the GP3® System, the licensed GEOPIER®  installers will need to perform multiple procedures on each hole, potentially extending duration onsite.Helitech® touches the hole only once using the DDS approach, potentially shortening the duration onsite. This method also densifies the in situ granular soils between the Aggregate Piers.

Schedule

Quality
Installation PadSince Helitech®‘s DDS minimizes spoils, Helitech® will allow access to the working pad while still installing piers.  This access may improve the construction schedule.

Cost

Schedule
Installation Quality AssuranceGEOPIER® provided specifications for Rammed Aggregate Pier® (RAP) require that the owner or contractor hire an onsite Control Technician to report on installation.Each of Helitech®‘s installation rigs is equipped with the latest data logging computer monitoring system, thus Control Technician requirement may be waived.

Schedule

Quality

 

What are the applications for each ground improvement systems?

Helitech® CCD VSCs

Helitech’s VSC system is used as a replacement for over-excavation and replacement or deep foundations, including driven piles, drilled shafts or auger cast-in-place piles. Since their creation, Vibro-piers are used to increase bearing capacity, reducing settlement, and mitigating liquefaction.

Ground Improvement Solutions

These Ground Improvement Solutions are used on many different types of projects, such as:

  • Foundations
  • Floor slabs
  • Industrial facilities
  • Storage tanks
  • Slope stabilization
  • Transportation
  • Multi-story buildings
  • Commercial centers
  • Industrial facilities
  • Liquid storage tanks
  • Grain bins and silos
  • Grain elevators
  • Farm buildings for agricultural machinery
  • Wind towers and wind farms

Why Helitech® Civil Construction Division?

At Helitech® Civil Construction, we provide technical and constructional support to a wide variety of industries and have done so since 1987. We use a unique and strategic combination of engineering and construction knowledge and have effectively positioned ourselves as a leader in geotechnical construction in the Midwest.

We focus on quality construction and installation, and we pride ourselves on unmatched customer service and engineering support. We believe in helping our clients achieve their goals and find peace of mind.

Not sure what geotechnical solution can work for your job? We can help.

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Learn more about how Helitech’s VSC System Compares to GEOPIER®