Geofoam at 11,000 Feet: Reaching New Heights

By: Terry Meier, Sales Representative

In the winter of 2015/16 Snowbird ski resort opened a new upscale cafeteria-style restaurant known as “THE SUMMIT”.

It is located at the top of the tram on Hidden Peak, 11,000 feet above sea level making it the highest year round alpine facility in North America.

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The 23,000 square foot facility offers stunning views of the Salt Lake Valley and 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

Over 9,100 cubic feet of EPS 22 Geofoam was selected as backfill for this facility. The Geofoam was placed between the existing tram building and the concrete retaining walls. By using Geofoam the contractor was able to greatly reduce the thickness of the retaining walls due to the elimination of lateral soil pressures.

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In addition to lateral soil pressure concerns the General Contractor, (Layton Construction), had a number of challenging problems building a structure on top of an 11,000 foot high peak.

Two of those challenges were: 1) how do we get building materials to the jobsite and 2)how do we accomplish that without damaging the environment?

Because Geofoam is so light, (1/100th the weight of conventional fill material), it was much easier to transport the numerous truckloads 3,200 vertical feet to the jobsite location.

Since the completion of the construction of this beautiful structure I have visited it many times on ski trips and to enjoy the restaurant. I also come back to take in the beautiful panoramic views of one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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