Ala Moana Center Expansion
Geolabs served as the geotechnical consultant for the expansion of Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping center in the State of Hawaii. As part of the expansion project, General Growth Properties developed the area to the north of the existing shopping center by constructing a three-level Nordstrom Store and a seven-level parking structure with provisions for a future residential tower structure atop the parking garage. In addition, the project also included a new three-level retail connector to tie into the existing shopping center. The long rectangular-shaped parcel for the expansion project encompassed about 173,300 square feet in land area.
This project site was unique in that the upper coral ledge that is generally present at depths of about 15 to 20 feet below the ground surface in the Ala Moana-Kaka’ako area was absent across a portion of the project site probably due to erosion by an ancient alluvial stream channel. The presence of an ancient alluvial stream channel across a portion of the project site posed significant challenges to the design and construction of foundations for this project.
Because of the variable subsurface conditions across the project site, Geolabs in conjunction with the design and construction team utilized various types of foundation systems including cast-in-place concrete drilled shafts, Augered Cast-In-Place concrete piles, driven concrete piles, and drilled micropiles for the expansion project depending on the structural load demands and the prevalent subsurface conditions for the elements. This flexible foundation approach helped the Owner in reducing the overall foundation costs for the project.