The New Bruce Museum Underpinning Design

Home to an extensive display of art and natural history exhibitions, the Bruce Museum was built as a private residence in 1853 and since then has undergone several renovations.   The 2021 renovation of the Bruce Museum, originally built in 1853 as a private residence, was part of a $60 million capital expansion plan for the “New Bruce”, a 43,000 square foot addition including state-of-the-art exhibition galleries for art and science.  The expansion more than doubled the sixe of the museum and required new spread footings to be constructed over 16 feet below the existing foundations. 

Eastern Excavation, Inc. of Elmsford, New York, retained GTR to perform underpinning design services. In lieu of traditional underpinning pits, required to extend more than 16 feet deep, below the existing building, GTR designed an “active” soil nail underpinning system such that soil nails and facing were installed slightly in front of the existing footings rather than directly underneath the existing footings.  This alternative underpinning scheme saved time and, more importantly, created a safer work environment. GTR’s “active soil nail system,” included soil nails that were proof and performance tested prior to being pre-loaded to mitigate deformation of this highly sensitive structure. 

GTR also performed full-time on-site Quality Control, designed, installed and self-performed an extensive Automated Deformation Monitoring to evaluate the performance of the active soil nail wall and confirm design assumptions.  Real-time deformation monitoring of the soil nail wall and the existing museum structure in real-time, and to evaluate soil and bedrock bond stress.

Project: The New Bruce Museum

Client: Eastern Excavation, Inc.

Owner: Bruce Museum

Location: Greenwich, Connecticut

Year: 2021

Services: Soil Nail Underpinning Design and Automated Deformation Monitoring