Tank Foundation Reinforcement using Mirafi®

Soil Reinforcement

Background Information and Challenge

Nichols Environmental contacted Layfield to explore an alternative method for reinforcing a 16,000m3 diesel tank foundation. Nichols Environmental had been hired by the EPC engineer, VTEK Consultants, to provide the geotechnical overview for the tank foundation and provide VTEK Consultants with some foundation options. Nichols Environmental suggested a few traditional options, including a concrete foundation, steel ‘H’ piles and helical screws. After discussing these options with VTEK, Nichols Environmental was asked to look at more cost-effective approaches, including looking into reinforced soil foundation options.


Nichols Environmental started looking into geosynthetic options and contacted Layfield to explore geosynthetic options available. After a discussion with the manufacturer TenCate, the analysis of Mirafi® for an RSF design was conducted. Using settlement calculations and a bearing capacity analysis, TenCate developed a design sent to Nichols Environmental for review. Upon final discussion between Nichols Environmental, TenCate, VTEK and Layfield, a final design using 8 layers of the Mirafi RS580i integrated geotextile using 80mm minus pit-run and the layers spaced at 375mm.


This design had considerable savings over the traditional solutions of concrete piles, steel piles or helical screws. Voice Construction, having been familiar with the Mirafi® RSi integrated geotextiles, had an easy time with the installation. Nichols Environmental and VTEK Consultants were delighted to deliver the owner a cost-effective solution for this project. Several weeks after the installation, the tank was tested for settlement using water, and the RS580i passed all tests.


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