Village at Valley Forge
King of Prussia, PA
The Village at Valley Forge concept is a 122 acre, mixed-use, lifestyle environment conceived as a village with its own town center. Plans include specialty dining, entertainment destinations, residential housing, office space, hospitality and a recently opened Wegmans Food Market.
Realen plans to build an apartment complex with 363 units, and the design of the apartment building is different than what has traditionally been constructed in the Philadelphia area. Called a “wrap” or “Texas donut,” the apartment building will be wrapped around a parking structure, which is basically hidden from plain view. This type of wrap development is not uncommon in other areas of the country and considered by some in the industry to be more cost effective and more convenient to residents who, depending on its design, can access parking from their units or floor. It is also used as a way to develop the maximum number of units on a small footprint and, in general, makes for a more attractive development by concealing the parking. The project will stand 4 stories and the garage matches floor-to-floor with the residential space.
The site is underlain by karst geology complicated by a fault situated between the Elbrook and Stockton Fms. The result is a variable soil profile in a Karst geologic environment. The soil ranges in depth from 8 to 150+ feet, with weight of hammer or rods to full depth.
Grouted or concrete deep foundation elements (preferably drilled not driven due to pinnacles) proved to be the preferred method because of the very soft, deep zones which create an inconsistent firm bottom to tag deep foundations into.
The conventional drill-and-fill Geopier Rammed Aggregate Pier method was preferred as it allowed the use of well-graded aggregate (2A modified stone), a low hydraulic conductivity solution to mitigate sinkhole aggravation concerns. The well-graded highly densified aggregate was augmented with a Cement Treated Aggregate (CTA) plug in the upper third of the elements. This plug effectively reduces the propensity of water to migrate down in the vicinity of the elements.