Melick-Tully and Associates, a Division of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA), was retained by Scannell Properties to provide environmental and geotechnical engineering services for a large site being redeveloped into a 215,440 square foot warehouse facility. A 45-foot grade differential added complexity to the geotechnical engineering design. 


To support the developer’s due diligence, GZA completed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of the approximately 35-acre, vacant woodland site which had prior agricultural uses in portions of the property. GZA also performed the initial subsurface investigation and provided foundation recommendations for the proposed warehouse which would bear on the gneiss bedrock, natural silty sands, and controlled compacted fill. Following the initial geotechnical investigation, GZA performed a supplemental investigation with additional test pits to assist with the stormwater design.  

The grade changes of over 45 feet within the site’s improved areas necessitated a retaining wall with a maximum height of up to 30 feet adjacent to the building on the site’s northeastern perimeter, while blasting and jackhammering a 10-foot cut was required along the northwestern and southern perimeters. 

GZA was on-site during general site earthwork construction—to observe construction of the building pad and retaining wall, installation and backfill of subsurface utilities, foundation excavations, and the asphalt paving operations—and provided periodic progress reports to the client. GZA effectively implemented the use of lime stabilization to heat and dry soils impacted by rain/frost during winter earthwork operations. GZA was involved in this project through completion of the access roadways and parking lots.


GZA’s multidisciplinary team addressed a site with challenging geologic conditions, maintaining earthwork operations throughout inclement winter weather to facilitate the developer’s schedule.