RMG Finds a Creative Engineering Solution for a Colorado Resident

February 04, 2014 2 min read

Rocky Mountain Plan Company is passionate about good design, sustainability, and fresh ideas, and we occasionally like to note the special efforts of our designers, founding members, and affiliate partners in these areas, both to honor the work they do and to give consumers further insight into the building process.

Rocky Mountain Plan Company is proud to call RMG - Rocky Mountain Group, a trusted affiliate. RMG has been an innovative leader for over 25 years in the Rocky Mountain region, and we respect their knowledge and reputation, which includes using their engineering skills internationally and offering their talents to build structures in Mongolia and other global communities in need of building experience. 

RMG offers structural and geotechnical services for new construction, and renovation and repair with a creative approach, as was the case in a recent residential project in Colorado Springs.

RMG was faced with a challenging infill lot where the previous structure had burned away, leaving expansive soil and tight quarters to work within. For such a project, typical recommendations included over-excavating the footprint to replace the poor quality soil with at least five feet of imported filler, or installing a pier and grade beam foundation that would involve drilling numerous concrete piers forty feet deep.

These ideas were both extremely expensive for the client, and ranged from difficult to impossible given the small space. RMG came to the project with fresh eyes and the goal to solve the problem with a more inventive alternative. 


The RMG team elected to use a suspended slab system, supported on a grid of helical piers, referred to as a SlabTekTM Foundation. This system combines two-way flat plate foundation technology with an innovative lifting process to create a foundation that virtually eliminates differential foundation movement. 

As RMG explains, “this is accomplished by first installing a grid system of foundation supports which may consist of concrete piers, micro-piles, helical screws or isolated pads. This grid layout often decreases the number of supports compared to a conventional pier and grade-beam system where the piers must follow the outline of the walls, jogs and corners. A structural concrete slab is then poured on-grade over the footprint of the building. A post-tensioning system is often used to create an economical structural slab supported by the grid system of piers. The SlabTekTM lifting mechanisms are placed at each pier support within the slab prior to the pour. Once the slab has cured and the cables pulled, the slab is lifted creating the appropriate void space between the foundation and the soil.”

After the installation of this special foundation, the home can be safely built on top of slab, whether it be the framed walls of an on-grade house or the foundation walls of a basement system. The edge of the perimeter is then covered with insulation board and backfilled, and the foundation will not be affected by soil shrinkage or swelling.
Engineering is often filled with complex problems involving a variety of factors, and the RMG team is always excited to come up with the right solution to fit the project.
RMG - Rocky Mountain Group
 Architectural, Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Testing, Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering and Land Planning | Colorado Springs, Englewood, Evans, Monument, Pueblo, and Woodland Park, CO | 303-688-9475 | 719-548-0600 | 970-330-1071