Roche pRed

As part of the modernization of its historic site in Basel, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd is erecting pRed, a new research facility composed of 4 buildings, whereof 2 lab-buildings will be up to 115 m high.

For the construction of the new facility an existing diaphragm wall of the 1970s was fully reactivated, which resulted in substantial cost- and time-savings. The existing diaphragm wall was secured with 5 anchor layers, built with 12 anchor drilling rigs working in parallel. Challenging were the restricted space conditions with limited height of less than 2.3 m as well as the drilling with up to 12 m high groundwater pressure in the highly permeable subsoil. After completion of the anchor works the excavation pit of 22 m depth could be executed parallel to the demolition of the basement of the existing building.

The foundation consists of a combined piled raft foundation (CPRF) to count for the extreme load eccentricity on the basement and to reduce the settlements of the new facility. The bored piles with a diameter of 1.20 m were constructed from the excavation base. A high pile concrete quality of C35/45 was used in areas of high stress after appropriate suitability testing.The foundation was computed with 2 coupled finite element models (structural and geotechnical models). These models have been iteratively and automatically matched with a self-written procedure. The input parameters of the 3D-FE-models were calibrated according to the long-term measurement results of the neighboring high-rise Building 1 - also founded on a CPRF. In addition, several static and dynamic pile tests of Building 1, which were carried out up to failure, were used for a better calibration of the ground parameters.

Services provided by Gruner Ltd's Geotechnical Engineering Department and Gruner Lüem AG comprise:

  • Planning for the following phases: preliminary design, basic design, tendering, detail design
  • Excavation pit, combined piled raft foundation, ramp, demolition/deconstruction,
  • Deformation forecasts and monitoring for the excavation pit, foundation and neighboring buildings due to the excavation of the pit, dewatering, construction of piles and anchors, building construction
  • Construction management for the excavation pit, foundation, ramp and demolition

Services provided by Gruner Ltd's Structural Maintenance Department comprise:

  • Crack-monitoring, preservation of evidence, monitoring of noise and vibrations

Read more about it here (in German). 

F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

Geotechnical engineering and foundation


Your contact person

Laurent Pitteloud
Head of Geotechnical Engineering
+41 61 317 63 76 | bGF1cmVudC5waXR0ZWxvdWRAZ3J1bmVyLmNo

Gruner AG
St. Jakobs-Strasse 199
CH-4020 Basel

References on the subject

The Circle, Zurich
Automated cost optimization of the inner lining of the second Lötschberg base tunnel tube
Roche building 2, Basel
ASTRA N1, Zurich northern bypass, cut-and-cover Tunnel Katzensee, retaining walls, foundations, excavation pits
Road tunnel in the vicinity of a recent slope slide