Orange Coast College: Planetarium Building Project


Cement stabilization of wet unsuitable soils saves Orange Coast College time and money.

Wet and unstable subgrade soils encountered during excavation of the building pad foundation were unsuitable for use as structural fill due to the inability to compact the soils to the project’s specified density requirement…severely impacting the project’s budget and construction schedule. Removal and replacement of the on-site soils was proven cost prohibitive and time consuming as compared to the cement treatment of the on-site soils. The cement treatment, and the associated placement and compaction for the excavation bottom and overlying soils, was successfully completed in 3 days.

Expansive soils generate up to billions of dollars per year in damage to overlying structures. Recommendations from geotechnical engineers may include removal and replacement of the expansive soils with non-expansive materials. However, the export/import recommendation is costlier and more time consuming than treating the soils on site with cement or high calcium quicklime to reduce their expansive properties and give them added strength for use on the project. An added benefit of the cement stabilization process o this project was the reduction of the Expansion Index (EI) from a moderate range to a low range.

  • Approximate cost savings of $300,000.00 compared to removal and replacement; export/import
  • Shortened construction schedule
  • Environmental benefits with reduced GHG and Energy usage with reduction of trucking exporting and importing materials
  • Reduced disruptions to the public with elimination of multiple trucks exporting and importing materials to the project
  • Increased bearing capacities of the soils to make them suitable to replace aggregate base and support overlying structures.

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