Virginia Tech Brodie Hall


Construction of the new Brodie Hall on the Virginia Tech campus required support for lightly to heavily-loaded footings and mats. Limiting footing settlement was a critical design consideration to prevent cracking of the exterior “Hokie Stone” façade. The foundation support design incorporated Geopier® ground improvement extending to rock beneath heavily-loaded footings and mats. However, during ground improvement installation beneath the F-4 mat, drilling revealed the rock levels dipped from 40 feet to greater than 70 feet – making it impractical to construct ground improvement elements.

Soil Conditions:

Typically, soft to stiff residual silt and clay to depths of 30 to 40 feet followed by partially weathered rock (PWR) and rock. Rock depths at the F-4 mat location were discovered during construction to increase to more than 75 feet.

Project Challenges:

Rapidly implement an alternative foundation solution for support of the F-4 mat foundation loaded up to 3,600 kips to address the greater rock depth and avoid costly construction delays.


  • Rapid installation
  • Easily adjust to variations in rock elevation
  • Compatibility with other foundation support systems

Design and Construction Solution:

GeoStructures, Inc./GeoConstructors, Inc. immediately identified the Ductile Iron Pile system as a solution that could be implemented rapidly to address the deeper rock profile and effectively manage variation in rock depths. The GeoStructures/GeoConstructors design/build team designed and implemented a solution consisting of 118/7.5 series piles (118 mm diameter with 7.5 mm wall thickness) to provide a working capacity of 80 kips. Once design team approval was granted, a total of 33 Ductile Iron Piles were installed in only 2 ½ working days. Pile lengths were easily varied from 39 to 75 feet by adding the modular Ductile Iron Piles sections featuring the specialty Plug and Drive connection.

VA-TECH-Brodie-Hall- Ductile Iron Piles

Project Team Members

DIP Design/Build Partner: GeoStructures/GeoConstructors
Geotechnical Engineer: Froehling & Robertson
General Contractor: Barton Malow
Structural Engineer: Clark Nexsen
Owner: Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech Brodie Hall

Pile Type

End-Bearing Ductile Iron Piles


Blacksburg, VA

Project Type





Soft Soils

Case Study File


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