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
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.
Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel
GEOFEM performed 3D finite element analysis of the ring crane base used to erect the world’s largest Ferris wheel to assess its deflection located close to the edge of the reclaimed island.
Prelude FLNG Turret
The largest piece of Shell’s new Prelude FLNG Turret was constructed in Dubai and needed to be loaded onto a barge for transport to South Korea. Geofem managed the ground investigation, numerical analysis and site monitoring, and then interpreted the findings to judge whether the quay wall at Drydocks World Dubai could safely support the weight of this 4,000 tonne monster as it was transported onto the barge.
Check out this time-lapse video of the operation to see if Geofem got it right!