Geotechnical Engineering Award of Excellence: ICD Brookfield Place, Dubai

Emanuele Davitti
Deputy Area Manager
Trevi S.p.A., Florence

Starting Over and Going Deeper on an Abandoned Tall Building Project

The ICD Brookfield Place project in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was originally begun in 2008, under the name “Lighthouse Tower,” in Plot GB03 of. The enabling works consisting of bored piles and anchored diaphragm walls (D-walls) for the previous development were completed in 2008, but further work stopped in 2009. The main challenge of the project was to deepen by the original basement’s five levels by two more levels, within the perimeter of the existing D-walls from the abandoned project. The cost and schedule of the new project was optimized by installing new anchors in the existing walls and installing a new wall from a lower level. Other challenges included the proximity of a subgrade truck tunnel along the retail spine of the DIFC.

The basement for the previous development was excavated to its full depth (i.e., a maximum of 21 meters below the existing ground level) but then subsequently backfilled. To construct the new basement, the team used to the existing D-wall from three sides of the plots, and new shoring on the remaining side. The existing piles were used for the foundation of the building. Special care had to be taken to avoid creating thicker walls that would compromise available subgrade space, and to optimally place new anchors and piles between their predecessors. To arrive at this solution, the boring contractor independently evaluated the plans provided by the project architect and structural engineer, and several workshops were arranged between all parties.

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