Described as "innovative" and "first-of-its-kind," participants in PDCA's Contractors Foundation Institute (CFI) - Driven Pile Academy are heading back to job sites around North America, including Hawaii, (one of 15 US states represented), Canada, and Mexico. They are equipped with new perspectives and insights that can optimize safety and execution on their future deep foundation projects, including roads, bridges, and structures over 3-stories. The three-and-a-half-day program took place in Duson, LA, on the expansive grounds at Patriot Construction & Industrial, LLC.
A women-led services team developed the first-ever event. It included one full day of classroom instruction featuring more than 25 industry professionals who gave presentations on safety and geotechnical preparation that would be necessary later in the week when participants moved outside to the mock construction site. There, participants embarked on two days of hands-on field activity; they rotated through seven unique and professionally staffed stations and observed driven pile equipment installing and extracting steel sheeting, H-beam piers and PC/PS concrete piles. Equipment involved in the demonstrations included HIH, diesel, dedicated rigs (impact and vibratory), side-grip, vibratory (both RF and Normal Frequency). Demonstrations of different support services were available, too. Geotechnical testing results obtained by GRL Engineers, Inc. was available for review and discussion during event segments. Students also gained detailed perspectives on the importance of equipment maintenance, pile cushion utilization, correct rigging and the value of certified and experienced crane operation.
Before the classroom and field instruction took place on April 5-7, attendees were treated to a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 4. Organizers gave a short program and addressed the dozens of attendees who gathered for networking, refreshments and some authentic Louisiana cooking. Scenes from the event are captured in the photos below:
Check back for more coverage, including photos, from the inaugural Diven Pile Academy!