Universal has comprehensive experience with various types of deep foundation systems including the analysis, recommendation, and testing of vibro-replacement/stone columns, rigid inclusions, driven piles (concrete, steel, and timber), micro piles, auger cast piles, drilled shafts (caissons), and helical anchors. Universal utilizes a wide range of in-house professional engineers and field staff together with an array of testing equipment from SPT (standard penetration test) and CPT (cone penetration test) drill rigs to determine the most cost effective, site specific solutions for each project. During construction we also provide quality assurance/quality control services, including pile driving analysis (PDA), cross-hole sonic logging (CSL), embedded data collector (EDC), and pile integrity testing (PIT) to evaluate the installation of deep foundation elements.
From single-family residential homes to larger, 45-building condominiums and 17-story mixed-use buildings, Universal can provide a variety of forensic investigations. We utilize a wide range of in-house professional engineers and geologists together with a wide range of testing equipment from SPT (standard penetration test) and CPT (cone penetration test) drill rigs, various geophysical techniques including GPR (ground penetrating radar) and electrical resistivity, floor elevation surveys, thermal cameras, in-house laboratory equipment, etc. to gather scientific data to be analyzed in determining causation of damage. Investigations range from damage caused by various subsurface conditions such as plastic clays, organics, improper fill placement and sinkhole activity. We also perform assessments on hail damage, wind damage, lightning, water intrusion and explosions on nearby structures have been completed. In addition, Universal personnel have investigated pavement failures (both asphalt and concrete), storm sewer issues and materials issues such as paint adherence and fireproofing problems.
In various locations around Central Florida, a discontinuity in the limestone provides a path for the water to erode the deeper soils. Over time, the surficial soils subside into a typical circular depression known as a sinkhole. For these regions, the pre-design phase of any construction project should include an investigation of the deep soils to evaluate the potential for sinkhole development and anticipated impact upon the proposed construction. Universal’s engineers have provided hundreds of these evaluations, researching published aerial maps of the Central Florida area dating back to the 1930s, and hydro-geological data published by state and national agencies. Much of Central Florida was developed without concern for sinkhole potential. Every year sinkholes damage existing structures, including office buildings, homes, swimming pools, and roadways. Universal assists insurance adjusters and property owners affected by sinkhole damage.