North American Headquarters

The Project.

Shiny, sleek, and state of the art, just like a new car – appropriate for a car company headquarters. The new campus has approximately 419,200 square feet of floor space that includes a company cafeteria, main reception lobby, administrative and executive offices, a 1,574-car, five-level parking structure, and a 50,000-square-foot Technical Service Building.


Hyundai Motors America


Fountain Valley, CA


  • Geotechnical
  • Specialized Geotechnical Testing

Project Fact:

Hyundai Motors has grown on its platform of innovation and creativity. The new $150 million LEED Gold 6-story building represents the innovation and creativity of Hyundai.

The Leighton Solution.

Leighton provided geotechnical engineering for this challenging site with a shallow groundwater table, highly compressible soils, and soils susceptible to liquefaction. The field investigation included hollow-stem borings and Cone Penetration Tests (CPT), Site-Specific Seismic Ground Motion Study, and liquefaction analysis.

Recommendations included a deep foundation system or ground improvement using stone columns or rammed aggregate piers, due to liquefaction potential and clay layers likely to experience consolidation when subjected to the heavy loading of the proposed structures.

A deep foundation system consisting of 16-inch square, pre-stressed concrete piles was the preferred option from a construction schedule and cost standpoint. Leighton evaluated the impact of seismic ground motions corresponding to the design earthquake levels on the pile capacities.
Leighton subsequently provided field verification of the pile foundation through an indicator pile program. Test piles were instrumented with Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) and driven at selected locations using the selected pile driving equipment. As a result of the indicator pile program, the pile lengths were reduced by 5 to 10 feet and smaller size piles (14-inch square) were used for the parking structure.

During construction, Leighton provided geotechnical observation and testing services. Close to 1,000 piles were successfully driven for support of the office building, parking structure and Technical Service Building. Grading of the site included removal and recompaction below the building pads and placement of 5 feet of fill to design grades.