The DTS Project House’s extensive below grade spaces and the properties’ existing physical parameters made planning of the excavations critical. The method for accessing the areas of excavation while also providing protection of existing cactus was determined first and then the order of the excavations were sequenced so as to allow equipment an escape route. The limited site area and steep slope prevented any dirt from being stockpiled so all excavated material had to be removed from the site as it was excavated. Accessing the upper areas of the site for excavation necessitated a switchback access ramp, and the desire to protect three existing groves of cactus helped to determine the precise path of the ramp. The ramp also had to provide access for pile drilling rigs and cranes to lift rebar cages into place. Thus the width and steepness of the ramp determined the size and type of equipment that could access the upper work areas.
Protection of Existing Cactus
The excavation planning began with the absolute necessity to protect three existing areas of cactus. Protection of the cactus was a philosophical decision and was critical to meet specific LEED requirements. The location of the existing cactus helped determine how the access ramps had to switchback and go between existing cactus. Five to six foot barriers were constructed around the cactus areas to prevent piled up dirt to create the ramp and other debris from intruding.