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Groundworks: Why is it important in construction?

Groundworks is an umbrella term relating to all the processes that are involved in preparing a surface prior to construction. As such, groundworks are usually the first stage of a construction process and are essential in commercial, domestic and industrial projects alike. So, just what makes groundworks so important in construction?

First, let’s look at groundworks in more detail…

Every construction project, no matter its size, requires a solid foundation. Groundworks ensure a construction project can be completed on an appropriate surface and may include such services as:

• Site clearance
• Concreting
• Excavations
• Underpinning
• Piling

Why are groundworks important in construction?

Below we list just some of the reasons groundworks are an essential stage in any construction project.

Health and safety

If a building or construction project is not built on solid or appropriate foundations, it is a major health and safety risk as the ground may not be able to support the weight of the structure. No matter the size or weight of your construction project, for the project to be sturdy, groundworks must be completed prior to construction.

Cost-effective

By hiring effective groundworks and underpinning contractors before beginning construction, you are eliminating the risk of uncovering expensive issues that may delay the construction project at a later date. For example, groundwork services can analyze the drainage needs of a building and execute an effective drainage system. If drainage problems were to be discovered mid-project, this would be a time-consuming and costly issue to fix.

Future-proof

If you are building a project in the middle of summer, the conditions in which the project will endure in colder, wetter months may easily slip your mind. An expert groundworks contractor will be able to create a foundation that can withstand floods, high winds and other natural disasters to ensure the longevity and durability of the project.

Contact BSB Piling & Underpinning today!

As groundworks are such an important process for any construction project it is essential you trust professionals to execute whatever groundworks services you require. For groundworks and underpinning London residents and businesses can count on, trust BSB Piling & Underpinning! We operate in London and surrounding areas and work tirelessly to provide our clients with groundworks services they can depend on. For more information about the services we offer, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our experienced team now!

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Common Materials Used in Foundation Construction

With building foundations, construction workers can choose from a whole range of materials, but which ones are the most popular?

Concrete

At the top of the list, concrete has to be the most common construction material of all. Incredibly strong and durable, most buildings depend on concrete to give them stability and longevity. Despite its solid appearance, concrete can easily be shaped into all kinds of moulds, making it ideal for a huge range of applications.

Steel

If you have concrete, you need to have steel too. If concrete is unsupported, the slabs can crack, so reinforcing them with steel keeps the building safe. Steel rods come in different thicknesses and are positioned in either perpendicular or parallel positions. For construction purposes, steel is often coated to be free from rust and stainless.

Wood

Although not commonly found in industrial builds, wood foundations often make up the base of wooden houses or in instances where concrete will cost too much. Because wood can be prone to rotting as well as termites, it needs to be treated with pressure and chemicals beforehand.

Weatherproofing solvents

Foundations are prone to water damage and damp, especially during rainy seasons when soil becomes damp. Solvents need to be applied to foundation materials to protect them and the structure of the building. These include materials like asphaltic emulsions, rubber, polythene, rubberized asphalt or bentonite.

Concrete blocks

Although liquid concrete is used commonly and shaped into bespoke moulds, concrete blocks are also often used in foundations. These come already built and are shaped like bricks and are useful when it comes to making sure the exposed surfaces of foundations are covered. They also aid in preventing frost and can be laid much more quickly than other kinds of bricks. They can be costly though, which is why liquid concrete is still the more popular option. When using ready-made blocks, construction workers need to make sure they’re of high quality.

Contact us

Get in touch with BSB to learn more about services like underpinning and piling London wide. Our experienced team are more than happy to answer any questions about our reliable mini piling Hertfordshire businesses trust. Simply give us a call today.

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Essential documents for piling foundations

Piling foundations might sit in the biggest hole your company has ever dug, so it is absolutely necessary to get them right. ‘Piled’ foundations consist of foundations with a depth more than three times their breadth. But there are a lot of options out there. Take a look at our top tips for choosing the best solution for your company.

Making the choice

Piling is probably the most flexible method for improving a building’s strength. Whether the properties are domestic or commercial, piling is fast becoming the method of choice. This is because it works elegantly and efficiently to transfer the building load to earth at a great depth. However, they need expert installation. This means the priority when making your choice is to start with a company who will make your needs top of their list. BSB concrete services, for example, are underpinning contractors with decades of expertise in the area of piling. They offer a bespoke service that takes into account your specific requirements and delivers a piling solution that suits you.

Piling

Piling might be the solution whether you are looking at a commercial building or a domestic one. It is possible to use piling to strengthen a building’s foundations even to solve problems in existing buildings, like subsidence or heave. In particular, if you have encountered weaker soil on your site, and need to drive through it to more robust earth underneath, then piling may be a more suitable solution. It is worth having a chat to an adviser to see if this is the case: we can help diagnose existing problems, so get in touch to see how we can help.

Mini Piling

Mini piles have a much slimmer diameter and a hollow steel shaft which enables concrete or grout to be poured through to make the pile. This is an elegant solution if you are short on space. In particular, it negates the need for extra supports, even in weak soil, and capitalises on the architectural strength of your building.

Lastly, it is essential that your piling solution is developed in line with your buildings exact specifications, so make sure that the underpinning contractors you use are able to take a look at your specific project. Contact BSB now for a bespoke service. x

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Guidelines for building close to or over sewers and drains

A number of regulations are in place to formally protect public sewers and drains that could be impacted when construction works, renovations or extensions are planned over or close to them. These are discussed below:

What regulations are in place for building close to or over sewers and drains?

Anybody planning to build within three metres of public sewers or lateral drains needs to obtain Building Regs H4 approvals, which includes approval from the water authority prior to commencement of any work.

It’s important for any builder to identify locations of any drains that will be impacted by construction works, even if they are not actually public sewers or shared drains.

Identifying the depth of the drain is also critical as shallow drains may not have the ability to enable successful drainage from the new build project, while deeper drains could need deeper foundations.

All these factors need consideration at the planning stage of any new build, and Building Regulations approvals should always be sought in advance. Working collaboratively with the appropriate water authority can help resolve any issues or problems that could arise in future.

Possible restrictions and guidelines for building close to sewers and drains

Working in collaboration with water companies when you need to build close to or over drains and sewers is the best way forward.If there are sewer pipes on the proposed building land no work should be commenced prior to water authority approvals and this is the case even when construction is exempt from building requirements.

Additional restrictions are in place for sewers with a depth of more than three metres or where additional piling is required. Very often water authorities place requirements for underpinning, piling or mini pile construction to be carried out if there has been extensive ground movement prior to works starting or if there is any possibility of further movement or poor soil impacting on the building works. Subsidence of the existing structure can also have a real impact on sewers and drains in the vicinity.

BSB Concrete Services provide underpinning and piling in London and the surrounding area. We specialise in offering all the support needed to ensure building works will not impact on nearby sewers and drains. Get in touch for more details.