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ACH Foam Technologies' Foam-Control EPS Geofoam Used for Supporting Underslab Foundation

While ACH Foam Technologies' Foam-Control® EPS Geofoam is best known for its use in civil infrastructure projects, this engineered lightweight material with high compressive strengths and predictable material performance readily lends itself to many types of commercial building projects.

One such example is the Desert Mills Pasta Plant in Kayesville, Utah, where an initial survey found that the site's unstable earth had a low burying capacity, making it unable to evenly support the building.

Excavating the dirt, refilling the site, and waiting for the soil to settle would have been expensive and time consuming. The process would have taken six to nine months for the soil to evenly resettle and gain the necessary compressive strength to support the 44,200 square foot plant. That was more time than the construction schedule would allow.

So the designers turned to ACH Foam Technologies' Foam-Control® EPS Geofoam for underslab foundation structural support. Architects used 175,000 cubic feet of ACH Foam Technologies' EPS 19 and EPS 22 Geofoam. The Geofoam needed to support 400 psf of uniform load and 12,000 pounds of fork lift load. To make that possible, engineers put the Geofoam on a level grade and extended it down to the soil, with the topsoil removed. The Geofoam was then topped with a 10" concrete slab, allowing construction to proceed.

"The Geofoam was an easy solution to the settlement issue," said Steve Peterson, an architect at Case Lowe & Hart Inc., the firm that designed the pasta factory.

Creating an even, strong base to build the factory on was quick and easy when the Geofoam was incorporated. There was no wait time for the Geofoam to settle and the project was able to proceed on schedule.

"Time was the motivating factor [for us to use Geofoam]," Peterson said. "It worked really well. There was no delay with foam."

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