Temporary and permanent shoring design for mixed-use development containing 158 condominiums, 283 parking spaces, and 7,110 square feet of retail space. Additionally, design of temporary roof support for adjacent historic building.

Shoring Design: Earth Support Systems, Inc.

Shoring & Foundation Contractor: Condon-Johnson & Associates

Structural Engineer: Glotman-Simpson Consulting Engineers

Developer: Intergulf Development Group


Case Study

In February 2006, Intergulf Development Group broke ground on Breeza San Diego Condominiums, a mixed-use development of residential condos, lofts and retail space with breathtaking vistas of San Diego Bay.

Located on the northeast corner of Pacific Highway and Ash Street in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, the Breeza project was a very complex dig. The new nine-story building was designed with three levels of underground parking adjacent to Parron Hall, a historic, red-brick building that would be restored as part of the Breeza complex. The developer planned to convert the first floor of Parron Hall into Breeza’s community and fitness room, while the other floors would become live/work lofts.

The construction site was tight, with a perimeter defined by Parron Hall on one side and an active, commuter rail line, a busy street and a courtyard on the other sides. Just about a block from the Pacific Ocean, our dig had the additional complication of being below the water table.

Levi Stoelting, Project Manager with Glotman-Simpson Consulting Engineers, explained: “We had to use temporary shoring and water pumps around the perimeter just to keep the site dry. It quickly became a challenging dig, because we had to go down thirty-five feet next to Parron Hall for the parking garage.

“Earth Support Systems had designed a temporary underpinning for Parron Hall,” Stoelting explained. “However, we really didn’t know how the old building was reinforced underground. When the building began to move, it soon became obvious that its weight was too much for our new basement wall. Even though most shoring systems used in situations like this are designed to be temporary, our situation demanded a permanent solution.”

“Earth Support Systems responded fast, solved problems quickly in the field and designed a permanent shoring system that supported the historic building and stopped its movement”, according to Levi Stoelting of Glotman Simpson.

“This ability to react quickly to changing conditions on the job site is just one reason why our company works with Earth Support Systems in so many of our projects,” Stoelting emphasized.

Condon-Johnson & Associates, a leader in underground construction on the West Coast, was Breeza’s shoring contractor. Their project manager, Peter Speier reflected on the experience of working with Earth Support Systems’ seasoned team.

“We really enjoy working with them,” Speier said. “Because we can always count on them to be attentive to our schedule demands and submit their designs on a timely basis. They create efficient designs that are practical and cost-effective to implement. Once the project begins, they react quickly to problems that arise in the field and solve those problems in a timely manner that won’t delay our project. The Breeza experience, in particular, illustrated their many talents”, Speier concluded.

Clients depend on Earth Support Systems to deliver intelligent, simple and sound shoring designs that will help them build successful projects. In the construction business, delays and downtime can be devastating to a company’s bottom line and ESSI is very sensitive to that issue. When faced with an old building that began to move, everyone had to think quickly in order to solve the problem in the field. A permanent underpinning system was designed which stopped the building’s movement and saved it with little or no structural damage. This turned out to be a very successful and challenging project for all the team members of the project.


September 30, 2004


Condon-Johnson & Associates, Inc.


California, San Diego