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The Pyramid

Client/Owner: Memphis Development Company
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Services: Geotechnical

Since 2004, the City of Memphis had been seeking a tenant for the vacated Pyramid.  The Pyramid and its unique presence was exactly what Bass Pro Shops, Inc. was looking for; however their exacting standards and risk concerns required the outdated facility to be upgraded. The Pyramid was built in 1982, before there were specific seismic design requirements. As part of the seismic upgrade needed to accommodate the major commercial development, Geotechnology performed detailed seismic evaluation of ground conditions, liquefaction and seismic slope stability. Having demonstrated that the project fell short of current standards, Geotechnology developed the performance criteria needed for specialty design‐build foundation contractors to evaluate and cost the improvements.

Geotechnology inside of the PyramidGeotechnology’s services between 2009 and 2013 included desk studies, site specific seismic assessment, geotechnical data report (GDR) and interpretative report (GIR), performing cone penetration testing (CPT), laboratory testing in Geotechnology’s USACE validated and AASHTO certified laboratory, geotechnical consultation, construction observation, materials testing for pile lateral load analysis, assessment of sulfate exposure requirements for concrete, and preparing the technical specifications and monitoring the below-grade portions of the seismic retrofit. Geotechnology also assisted the design team with foundation design analysis and value engineering assessments, and was on budget.

For the geotechnical exploration, one of Geotechnology’s staff Geologists was on-hand to provide technical direction during field exploration, observe drilling and sampling, record and monitor CPT operations and prepare descriptive logs of the material encountered. Geotechnology’s full complement of environmental, geotechnical, laboratory and field staff were involved with the project including contributions from St. Louis Geotechnical and drilling groups, Kansas City drilling, and Memphis drilling, soils testing and construction materials testing groups.

Throughout the construction phases, work on the Pyramid is estimated to create roughly 16,000 construction jobs. Once the facility is open, it’s estimated to provide 300 – 400 jobs for the length of its 55 year, $1,000,000 annual lease, and provide a huge boost to the area’s economy.

2014 Engineering Excellence Competition Honor Award – ACEC, Missouri