Wood Group has combined with Amec Foster Wheeler to form a new global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets. To find out more about Wood visit our new website at www.woodplc.com

Building L.A.'s tallest tower - The Grand Pour

Amec Foster Wheeler is the geotechnical, environmental, and cultural resources firm providing field and laboratory testing, and adjacent subway evaluation and monitoring for design and construction of the new Wilshire Grand Development in Los Angeles. This mixed-use (hotel / office / condominium) building will stand 1,100 ft high when completed, making it the tallest building in the US west of the Mississippi River.  

The building is located in an active earthquake zone, which complicated the testing and design. The unique curving arc of the south façade and functionality requirements as a hotel also added to the complexity. The structural system consists of concrete core walls, composite columns, composite floors and steel outrigger diagonals. As this structural system is not ordinarily permitted by the building code, an alternative design procedure was used based on performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) analysis and design.

We recommended a concrete mat design for the building foundation. To prevent differential curing, the entire foundation was created using one continuous pour of concrete. Hundreds of trucks provided over 21,000 cubic yards of concrete in 18 hours, the largest continuous concrete pour in world history, according to Guinness’ World Records. Delivering this quantity of concrete in the tight confines of downtown Los Angeles was a logistical challenge.  

Amec Foster Wheeler also performed geotechnical inspection and testing for the project, approving the bedrock as ready for placement of the massive concrete foundation. Our team worked with the shoring engineer to provide an earth retention system up to 100 feet deep around the project, which is surrounded by other tall buildings and adjacent subway tunnels. We developed and operates a monitoring system to ensure safe operation of the subway during construction. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Location:Los Angeles, California, US
Client:Hanjin Corporation (Korean Airlines)
Value:US$3.9 million (Amec Foster Wheeler), US$1.1 billion (Project)
Scope:Geotechnical investigation, seismic ground motion studies, environmental investigations, subway tunnel evaluation and instrumentation, cultural resources monitoring, geotechnical inspection and testing and environmental monitoring
Date:2012 – 2016