Santa Clara Gateway

Developer turns to TRC to ensure a solid foundation for its high-rise office property located in a zone of potential seismic activity.



The Irvine Company

Project Location

Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara Gateway is a highly-efficient, high rise office property with more than 900,000 SF of Class A space. To establish the subsurface complexities associated with the area prior to design, TRC was retained by the project developer to perform a subsurface investigation of the site consisting of test borings and a full battery of soil tests to determine the physical and structural properties of the soil.

A preliminary review of the Seismic Hazard Zone Report had shown that the project site is located in a Liquefaction Hazard Zone as mapped by the California Geological Survey (CGS). Such areas are characterized as “areas where historic occurrence of liquefaction or local geological, geotechnical or groundwater conditions indicate a potential for permanent ground displacements such that mitigation as defined in Public Resources Code 2693c would be required.” Historic ground water levels in the vicinity of the site had been mapped at depths of about 5 feet.

TRC’s investigation included a combination of rotary-wash borings and cone penetration tests (CPT) to depths of up to 70 feet to explore the subsurface conditions. Such exploration methods are consistent with those currently necessary when investigating a site within a mapped liquefaction hazard zone. Our report discussed the potential for liquefaction at the site and concluded that the sands which were present at the site were primarily dense to very dense in nature and not subject to liquefaction. In addition, the buildings were to be supported on pile foundations which would mitigate minor liquefaction-induced settlement should it occur. It was therefore TRC’s opinion that the liquefaction evaluation performed was appropriate for the conditions and adequately addressed the liquefaction potential at the site.

To ensure the proper implementation of our recommendations, TRC staff were utilized to provide geotechnical observation and testing during the sitework construction phase of the project.

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