Underpinning of Avery Hall, Vassar College
MMCE prepared underpinning design plans and specifications for Avery Hall at Vassar College. Avery Hall was constructed in the early 1900’s and was a three-story brick dormitory building. Design plans called for Avery Hall to become the new fine arts center for the college. The project designer elected to retain the façade of Avery Hall for the new structure due to its architectural significance.
Construction required excavation of a 20-foot deep basement immediately in front of the existing façade, which was supported on a shallow foundation. Project plans included a series of pin piles and concrete grade beams to support the façade to be constructed over a several month period.
MMCE worked with Hayward Baker, Inc. to develop an alternative underpinning system. The system included jet grout columns installed from inside and outside of the existing building with a row of tie-back anchors at the top of the columns. This system allowed installation of the underpinning prior to demolition of the building and excavation for the basement. This provided much simpler construction methods and savings on the project schedule.