The MRCE team of geotechnical engineering professionals possess an experienced understanding of the behavior of soil under a range of structural demands, and the definition of soil material properties for design.
- Subsurface Conditions
A thorough assessment of subsurface conditions and the engineering properties of soil is fundamental to selection and design of cost efficient and constructible foundation systems. MRCE geotechnical engineers are experienced in traditional investigation sampling methods and soil classification, and state of the art tools for in-situ testing of soil properties to support subsurface investigations and construction projects. MRCE engineers are experienced at producing geotechnical data reports and interpreting geotechnical conditions to guide foundation design and construction.
- Soil and Rock Mechanics Laboratory
MRCE maintains a state of the art soil mechanics laboratory in our New York office which is devoted to MRCE client projects and designs or evaluation assignments. NICET certified technicians perform tests following applicable ASTM standards, expanded as needed to meet project requirements. The MRCE lab is accredited by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
•Mechanical and Hydrometer Analysis of Grain Size
•Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index
•California Bearing Ratio (CBR)
•Triaxial Compression Tests – Unconfined, UU, CU, and CD
•Miniature Shear Vane
•Maximum and Minimum Density
•Constant Rate of Strain Consolidation
Frozen Ground Testing Services
•Confined & Unconfined Compressive Strength
•Creep under sustained stress
•Expansive and Heave
•Thermal conductivity of frozen soil
- Advanced Geotechnical Analysis
Geotechnical analysis using advanced numerical methods such as soil-structure interaction finite element modeling, and groundwater modeling can often better simulate complex geotechnical problems, define earth and water loads, and result in more economical designs compared to conventional analysis. MRCE analysts are experienced modelers with a real-world project performance history. Advanced analytical tools for state-of-the-art soil-structure interaction analyses are used to estimate the complex behavior of soils and the response of earth retention structures and adjacent structures, allowing our Clients to develop appropriate designs and manage construction risk in urban environments. Our engineers are familiar with two dimensional (2-D) and three dimensional (3-D) transient and steady state groundwater modeling techniques for estimating groundwater behavior, and designing effective groundwater control systems in challenging ground conditions.
- Rock Mechanics
Careful application of rock mechanics principles is of particular import in the urban environment, where rock excavations are typically adjacent to existing structures. Recognizing that rock instability can occur suddenly and without warning, MRCE engineers utilize time-tested methods of rock mechanics data collection and analysis to identify and clearly communicate potential trouble spots before the excavation proceeds, enabling our clients to estimate the cost and schedule impact of anticipated rock reinforcement measures. Our engineers are experienced in rock mass characterization to assist our clients in developing appropriate and cost effective reinforcement and rockfall protection systems for slopes and tunnels. MRCE utilizes Distinct Element Modeling (DEM) software to estimate stress and deformation around underground openings in jointed rock, where the behavior of the discontinuous mass may not be adequately predicted by continuum models.
- Seismic Design
Site-specific studies for optimizing seismic loads are essential to efficient structural systems. MRCE has offered site-specific studies as a core capability of our geo-seismic practice for more than two decades. Studies include in-situ geophysical testing, laboratory resonance testing of rock core, and use of Bender elements for laboratory testing of soils under triaxial confinement. MRCE performs probabilistic and deterministic seismic hazard studies for critical facilities and infrastructure projects. MRCE has performed international projects where regional hazards are not mapped. MRCE specialists have supported seismic code revisions and development of design guidelines including ASCE7-16, EC-8, NYC Criteria for Bridges, and the NYC Seismic Code.
- Groundwater Control
Proper control of groundwater is fundamental to safe and efficient construction of projects below the water table. MRCE is recognized as an expert in construction dewatering. MRCE Partner Walter Kaeck, PE has primary contributions to the authoritative text “Construction Dewatering and Groundwater Control: New Methods and Applications.” MRCE engineers design, execute and interpret field pumping tests to measure hydraulic properties of water bearing strata and aquifers. Our engineers also possess in-depth knowledge of groundwater control alternatives, with a tool kit ready to tackle any ground condition and project demand including deep and shallow wells, wellpoints, ejectors, horizontal drains, slurry trench barriers and sealed sheet pile cutoff walls, particulate and chemical grouting, and water cutoff methods. MRCE engineers focused on groundwater problem definition, design, and problem solving are available as a resource to Clients.
Citi Field – The New Mets Stadium
Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets, sits atop one of the most challenging subsurface conditions in the New York metropolitan area. The Flushing Meadows site is underlain with deep deposits of soft clay and silt. These soils make high-capacity foundations a particularly challenging design feat. MRCE performed a comprehensive geotechnical investigation including a site specific seismic analysis, to design driven pile foundations reducing uncertainty and yielding a cost-effective foundations.
A coordinated team effort on the part of the architect, geotechnical engineer, structural engineer, and construction manager produced an extraordinary stadium that was ready for the Mets’ 2009 home opening game.
Brookfield's seven-million square foot Manhattan West development is ideally positioned at the gateway of Manhattan's newest and most vibrant neighborhood, the Hudson Yards District on the west side of Midtown. Manhattan West includes four new high-rise towers and the major renovation of an existing building. The development is constructed over the rail corridor serving New York’s Pennsylvania Station, the busiest rail corridor in the United States. MRCE designed an innovative foundation system consisting of rock socketed caissons and spread footings, with tie-downs to support and anchor the bridge-like platform over the rail corridor. The platform was constructed in a single column-free span using unique precast concrete solutions and launching gantry systems. To keep an eye on adjacent structures during construction, MRCE designed and implemented a comprehensive monitoring program. MRCE monitored structural performance of the long span box girders over the rail corridor.
This 3.5 million sq. ft. 4-building complex of residential and office towers in Long Island City is split in half by Jackson Avenue, a subway tunnel, and an elevated transit structure, making construction of foundations extremely challenging. MRCE provided geotechnical engineering and structural foundation design services that included large-scale geotechnical investigations with geotechnical reports, assessment of foundation types, groundwater concerns, and protection of the adjacent transit facilities during construction. In particular, MRCE designed excavation support for a 20 foot deep excavation adjacent to the elevated train line and secured approval from NYC Transit for both foundation and excavation support designs.