Geofem Geotechnical Analysis

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Heavy Load Assessments



Heavy industry often requires large but temporary loads to be applied to the ground during the construction, transport or lifting of heavy structures. How much load can ground-bearing structures safely support and how much will the ground deform? Traditional but commonplace geotechnical design methods can be overly-conservative. More advanced analysis techniques supported by appropriate site testing and monitoring provide more accurate predictions, leading to potential cost savings in heavy load operations and greater productivity.




Grand Assembly Area, Drydocks World, Dubai


The Grand Assembly Area (GAA) of Drydocks World-Dubai (DWD) is a large ground bearing slab supported by calcareous sand and is used for the assembly and subsequent launch of new ships and rigs. It was operating close to its maximum allowable working load but DWD wanted to investigate whether, by more advanced analysis, the allowable working load on the existing slab could be increased.

Geofem were appointed to specify and direct settlement monitoring of the slab during the launching of a new 8000 tonne rig (pictured right) and subsequently to carry out a 3D finite element analysis of the slab. Geofem advised that the allowable working load could be increased, which has allowed heavier ships and rigs to be assembled and launched, significantly improving the productivity of the existing structure.

Refer to ICE Proceedings Geotechnical Engineering for more information.




"Geofem's careful analysis of ground bearing areas and quay walls at Drydocks World-Dubai allowed us to increase safe working loads in critical areas and significantly improve the productivity of our yard."
Batista Cardozo, Infrastructure Maintenance & Development Department
(IMDD), Drydocks World-Dubai.



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