Fugro has played a key role in the ground engineering of the Dubai Creek Tower, a vast slender structure that will comprise a central concrete column supported by a network of steel cable stays.

Because of its significant height and design, ground engineering was critical in the programmed schedule and foundation design. Fugro was appointed to provide data collection and interpretation that could be relied upon by the construction contractor leading the foundation design and engineering. The testing and monitoring project ran from June 2016 to August 2017.

Utilizing the most advanced mathematics, engineering and physics known to man, the Dubai Creek Tower is expected to be one of the most significant structures ever created. “Fugro carried out one of the most comprehensive geotechnical investigations in the region. We then tested the in-situ performance of the proposed foundations in order to optimize the final design of the core and the cable anchorage foundation design,” explained Joyshwin Sumputh, Fugro’s Service Line Manager.

The contract for the foundation design and construction of Emaar Properties PJSC’s Dubai Creek Tower was awarded to Soletanche Bachy in June 2016. The company’s DCH Tower Project Manager, Vincent Leblois, described the project: “This is probably one of the most challenging and demanding buildings under construction in the world.”

The first step was a campaign of preliminary load testing to ascertain the ground geotechnical characteristics and finalize the detailed design of the deep foundations. Soletanche Bachy needed a partnering team that would enable its success from the outset. “Based on previous experience in Dubai, we knew that Fugro would be the only company capable of mobilizing the necessary resources and completing these tests in line with our tight schedule,” continued Leblois.

The project specifications also called for a state-of-the-art, robust system including the use of fiber optics to carry out the intense static load test program using Fugro’s Osterberg Cells (O-cells). Close collaboration, as well as Fugro’s worldwide network and engineering capabilities, allowed the team to successfully complete the preliminary testing scope of works in due time and set the right pace for the project.

Leblois concluded, “The Fugro team’s professionalism, reactivity and continuous support were key factors in this achievement which also resulted in breaking the world record for deep foundation testing load applied on a single barrette (36,300 tons).”

Many ultra-high capacity piles and barrettes are being designed today as a direct result of Fugro’s ability to verify their capacity. In Dubai, Fugro performed additional tests to confirm the assumptions of the design were within safe working loads. “We tested six working barrettes, full scale, to validate the optimized final design for the foundation construction,” added Sumputh. “Each barrette was instrumented with a single level O-cell assembly and installed with minimal disruption to the program. Grouting the O-cells after testing enabled the working barrettes to be incorporated into the foundation structure.” Fugro also conducted over 250 kilometers of sonic reading to provide quality assurance for the concrete integrity of the tower’s permanent foundations.

Construction of the Dubai Creek Tower is expected to be completed by 2020.