Menard Oceania completes extensive ground improvement works for new Steelforce warehouse at Port of Brisbane


20 February 2019

Leading design and construction geotechnical specialist Menard Oceania has announced completion of major ground improvement works on behalf of its client, FKG. With ground improvement works completed ahead of schedule, the Brisbane site, once built, will be a new warehouse for Steelforce, a major distributor of steel products in Australia.

The 25,000m˛ warehouse project, located in Port West – a rapidly developing industrial estate at the Port of Brisbane – required detailed ground improvement works, as it had been previously subjected to varying levels of surcharging to provide for a 20Kpa loading condition. Geotechnical conditions encountered on site included a variable profile which was comprised of dense sand, soft to firm Holocene alluvium, and stiff Pleistocene alluvium.


“We established to site in early July 2018 to perform the design and construction of the ground improvement works on behalf of Port of Brisbane Limited (PBPL) and the main contractor FKG Group,” explains Geoffrey Holding, Northern Region Manager for Menard Oceania. “Although the site had been previously surcharged, the project loading requirements increased in capacity to meet the needs of Steelforce, which required the entire ground improvement / slab package to be redesigned. We are delighted that Menard’s expertise was considered by the client for the successful and timely delivery of the early foundation works package.”

As a leading design and construction geotechnical specialist, Menard was selected by FKG Group, to undertake this project within a compressed timeframe. It also provided a winning combination of innovative in-house design combined with a proven track record in warehouse ground improvement. Although the site threw up some challenges, Menard was able to deliver a cost effective solution and timely delivery of the work.

Close collaboration with the project’s designers, McVeigh Consulting, was also key to ensuring an optimised and more economical slab design, resulting in considerable savings in both time and money for the client.

Ground improvement and construction strategy

Additional site investigations were performed prior to the completion of the design and this showed the presence of a deep paleo channel, which meant that the ground improvement had to be installed to depths in excess of 30m in some areas. Due to the geological variability across the site, it was characterized into four subsurface profiles to enable the site to be effectively and accurately modelled.

Menard elected to improve the underlying ground by means of the Controlled Modulus Columns technique, typically called CMC. “This technique is suitable for improving low strength soils, which otherwise would require installation of traditional deep foundations. CMCs are formed by rotary drilling techniques using a tapered displacement auger that is specifically designed to displace the soil laterally during penetration. By using this technique, the quality of the soils are improved during the installation process with the amount of spoil generated being minimal, hence no double handling and disposal of spoil off site is required,” explained Adam Zakrzewski, Business Development Engineer at Menard, Northern Region.

Given the compressed time line within which the project needed to be delivered, Port of Brisbane pointed FKG in Menard’s direction to provide the necessary ground improvement expertise required. Despite a very tight project timeframe, that included the production and delivery of a detailed construction design while simultaneously working with project designers McVeigh Consulting to test design variations and slab optimisations, Menard’s ground improvement works were successfully completed one week ahead of schedule.

The successful completion of the Steelforce warehouse project strengthens Menard’s reputation as an expert in providing ground improvements for warehouse construction.




Source:  Menard Oceania -

Contact:  Karen Peterson, KP Communications on +64 21 250 1266

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