Courtesy of Doublestar Drilling“Doublestar was an invaluable team member as they brought skills and expertise to the project that enabled us to complete the work in a timely fashion,” said Derek Lippai, Inc., International Facilities Project, Calgary International Airport. “There were areas of the project that required very unique equipment due to low overhead clearances. Doublestar took on the challenge and sourced out specialized equipment to meet the design and construction limitations to complete the work.”

The specialized equipment, designed for this type of work, is only made in Italy.

“Low headroom is not uncommon, however when you add the necessity of hard drilling, such as rock sockets, then it quickly narrows the equipment [options] down to only a few,” said Hunt. “We worked with our equipment supplier to modify the equipment to suit the specific requirements of this project. We also engineered a custom cage holder to place the rebar cage, as we needed to install 40-foot deep piles in only 14 feet of headroom.”

The Peace River Retaining Wall was another project that resulted in being awarded an additional contract.

“When Judah Hill on Highway 744 began to erode and slip into the Peace River Valley, Alberta Transportation enlisted us to complete all the drilled piles and anchor work,” said Hunt. “With tight timelines and strict budget guidelines, we began construction of the tie-back wall. Using specialized equipment, we successfully installed 260 double corrosion protection anchors on the hillside, ranging from 100 to 230 feet deep.”

The overwhelming success of the Peace River Retaining Wall’s Phase 1 resulted in Doublestar being awarded the contract for a larger, second piece of work, which included a technical asessment of the soil to determine equipment selection.

“As a result of the tests, we sourced and purchased a micropile drill to install over 280 anchors,” said Hunt. “At the end of the Peace River project, we had engineered and installed more than 43,000 linear feet of anchor systems, totalling 498 anchors, pressure grouted for over 600,000 kilograms of high strength concrete.”

Pile load tests are also an integral part of Doublestar’s repertoire, and they are one of the few Canadian companies with this expertise to perform load tests above 20,000kn. Before construction began on Edmonton’s Roger’s Place, the company was contracted to execute a pile load test.

“The magnitude of the job resulted in a strategic partnership with Enerpac,” said Hunt.

The new system required the design and creation of six interwoven beams, each measuring six feet by 50 feet and weighing 35,000 pounds each, to control the four 500-ton jacks.

“Together we designed and created a fully automated system capable of completing Canada’s largest load test to date – 14,000 kilonewtons,” said Hunt. “This new technology has increased our capacity, allowing us to take on Western Canada’s largest load test requirements.”

Hunt’s passion for piling continues to fuel the company’s quest for challenging projects.

“We believe in continuing education and being on the forefront of the latest technologies and equipment. In this vein, we sent project managers and field personnel to the International Foundations Congress & Equipment Expo (IFCEE) 2015 in Texas to see the latest developments. We also employ some of the best workers in the business, and are confident in our abilities to tackle any problem with an innovative solution.”


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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.