Composite Construction in Underground Structures in Barcelona


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Title: Composite Construction in Underground Structures in Barcelona

Author(s): Lawrence G. Griffis and Javier F. Horvilleur

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 174


Appears on pages(s): 175-182

Keywords: Basements; composite construction; excavation; slabs; slurries; substructures

Date: 4/1/1998

Diagonal Mar Centro Comercial is a 350,000 square meter (3.75 million square foot) mixed use commercial development in Barcelona, Spain. It is located at the terminus of the premier boulevard in Barcelona, avenida Diagonal and will be known as Diagonal Mar - the avenue by the sea. The project is located only two hundred meters from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and approximately ten kilometers east of the Olympic Village - home to the athletes in the 1992 Olympic Games. A commercial venture of Diagonal Mar S.A., the first phase consists of a 165,000 square meter (1.75 million square feet) retail mall and hypermarket (the largest in Spain) and six levels of underground parking for 5,100 automobiles in 185,000 square meters (2.0 million square feet) of space. Construction cost for Phase I is estimated to be $180,000,000 US dollars. Residential housing and office buildings are planned for later phases of the project. The site is a very large triangular plot bounded by the extension of avenida Diagonal on the northwest, avenida Josep Pla on the west and avenida Taulat on the south. The sides of the triangle are approximately 333 meters (1,072 feet) along avenida Diagonal, 285 meters (935 feet) along avenida Taulat and 236 meters (774 feet) along avenida Joseph Pla. The 24 meter (79 feet) deep excavation required for the underground parking, located 18 meters (59 feet) below the shallow water table, will create the largest basement substructure in the world and will remove more than 1 .O million cubic meters (1 .3 million cubic yards). The sheer size of the project and its location so close to the sea posed a whole host of enormous engineering challenges for the design and construction planning team as follows: (1) Excavation retention method; (2) Foundation system selection and design; (3) Excavation/substructure construction method and sequence, (4) Substructure system selection and design.