Hayward Baker provided an alternate solution—ground improvement—to limit settlement to the specified amount of one inch, which saved significant cost and time for the project.

The Project

The owner was developing a new student housing facility near the University of Arizona campus approximately 100,000 sf and five stories high, with structural loads ranging from 180 to 600 kips. The surficial soils of the site varied greatly due to disturbances from previous development.  

The Challenge

Traditional spread footings bearing on the existing disturbed soils would experience excessive settlement. The owner was considering a deep foundation system which would safely support the structural loads (up to 600 kips), but the cost was too high for the project.

The Solution

A foundation system of spread footings bearing on soil improved with Vibro Piers was designed and constructed meeting the project schedule and performance requirements. The Vibro Piers treated the upper 10 to 25 feet of compressible soils, allowing for an increased allowable bearing pressure. 

The HBI team was extremely responsive both in the office and on the field. The HBI team was very professional and committed to the success of the overall project, which certainly had complicated and unique parameters. It would be great to see them on future projects.

Jimmy Tometich, vice president of construction operations at BD Construct

Project Facts


CORE Campus Flagstaff, LLC

Main Contractor(s)

Beal Derkenne Construction

Keller Business Unit(s)

Hayward Baker


Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.