About Foundation Piling

May 27, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Before commencing any foundation piling work it is necessary to carry out a thorough site investigation so that all potential risk factors can be dealt with. There are several different factors which need to be taken into consideration when carrying out a site investigation and these will determine whether or not foundation piling is a suitable method to be used.

Foundation piling is an ideal option to be used on sites where ground conditions are poor. Piling is used more and more as quality construction sites are available less and less. A pile consists of a rectangular slab of concrete which contains reinforced steel bars for extra strength. Piles differ in size, depending on the type of structure they will be supporting.

The piles are driven into the ground as far as they will go and then the tops are cut off. Enough steel is exposed so that the pile can be tied to the beams. A mud-mat or layer of concrete is then laid over the piles. Around the perimeter of the site, a retaining wall needs to be built which creates a trench into which the foundations will be poured.

When this section of the work has been completed, reinforced steel is put into the site and tied in place, forming a steel cage. The concrete foundations can then be poured in to complete the process. Once the foundation concrete has dried it is ready for building the structure. This is successful foundation piling!

Mini Piles are the way forward

April 15, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Mini piles – also known as micropiles or lightweight piles – are an alternative to other types of piles. They have been developed from older pile designs such as driven piles and screw piles. They have become a more popular choice over the years as they have advantages over driven and screw piles.

Mini piling is a reliable option which can be utilised in situation that more traditional piling methods could not cope with. Because mini piles are a lot smaller they can be placed in much smaller and confined spaces with relative ease. This means that contractors end up saving time and money because they do not have to think up or turn to expensive solutions for difficult construction projects.

Here is a quick overview of all the many benefits of using mini piles:

• They are the best option to choose when ground conditions are poor.
• There is no need for excavation or soil removal.
• An alternative to heavier piles when weight allowance is limited.
• Mini piles cause much lower levels of vibration.
• Mini piles are specialised equipment which are crucial for certain projects and circumstances.
• They generated limited noise and fumes and are therefore ideal for projects when environmental issues are a       concern.

Choosing the right Piling Specialists

March 25, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Whenever there is a new building project, the expertise if a piling specialist is required. However small, large, high or low a structure is, it needs to be supported at the foundations. Construction piling is the method used to strengthen the foundations of a building so that it will not move or collapse. Piling needs to be carried out in a way that ensures the foundations will last or the structure could be a serious hazard.

Piling is not just one fix-all solution; there are several different methods to choose on depending on some key factors, including the size and height of the building and the nature and condition of the surrounding soil. Driven piles and drilled piles are two such possibilities. This is why it is so important to find a qualified piling specialist to carry out the work and all necessary assessments of the site. There are also different safety and security needs depending on whether a building is a commercial, industrial or domestic project.

At MK Piling we have many years of piling experience and work closely with structural engineers, architects and building contractors to offer a piling service that is unmatched by anyone else. The combination of our in depth knowledge and use of advanced piling technology; means that we are the ideal choice for your construction project.

Pile Testing

March 11, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Piling is an integral part of the building construction process and it is vitally important to make sure that the process of pile testing is always carried out. There are several different reasons why pile testing is so important. Firstly, pile testing leads to the design of other piles using back-figured soil data.

Construction projects can differ in size. This means that the required foundation piles are not always going to be the same size. Pile testing allows contractors to ascertain how large or small the piles will need to before they start work.

Pile testing is an assessment on how much weight can be supported effectively by the foundation piles. It ensures that the foundations of the building are safe and will not move or collapse.

Pile testing is does not take much time to complete which makes it cost-effective. There are four different tests which can be carried out as pile testing; these are the compression test, uplift test, lateral-load test and torsion-load test. The most commonly used test loading procedures are constant rate or penetration (CRP) and the maintained load test (MLT).

Concrete Pile Foundations create Stable Structures

February 25, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Concrete piles are used to make sure that a foundation is deep enough, by being driven into the ground. The concrete piles connect to the footers of the foundation, so for some construction projects, many concrete piles are used. The concrete piles also maintain the stability of the building or structure by distributing the weight of it, once construction has been completed.

Deep concrete piling foundations are needed for a variety of different uses. If the building being constructed is on a large scale, then a deep foundation is crucial to ensure optimum stability. Deep piling is also required if the condition of the soil is poor, as it will be unable to support the weight of a building or structure so it is anchored to a bedrock as an alternative.

Concrete pile foundations can be installed using two different methods. The first option is to drill and cast the concrete pile on site. The other choice is by driving a pre-formed pile into the ground, using reinforced, pre-stressed or precast concrete.

Concrete piles are not only used for deep foundations; they can also be used to reinforce walls, temporarily or permanently. Concrete piles can also provide support for levees and other structures which could collapse.

Underpinning the Situation

February 11, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Underpinning is the method that is used to make the foundation of a building or structure stable. This process is carried out when a new building is being constructed, an existing building is being changed or the supporting soil has undergone changes. This could be due to the roots of trees growing and disrupting the foundations. If a nearby building has lower foundations then surrounding structures may need to be lowered to ensure its stability. Foundations may also be widened in certain situation to make them more supportive.

Underpinning is skilled work and must always be carried out and/or supervised by a qualified engineer. It is important to follow health and safety guidelines as it can be dangerous work. There are different types of underpinning available. Beam and base underpinning involves the construction of a concrete beam above or to replace an existing footing. The beam then transfers the weight of the structure to concrete bases.

The option of mini-piled underpinning is suitable for when foundation loads require to be transferred to stable soils at depths of more than 5.0 metres. The mini-piles can be either augured or driven steel cased and implemented using specially designed rigs.

Amendments to the Piling Rig Certification intend to avoid construction accidents

January 14, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Accidents at work are never exactly a cause for celebration but accidents which occur on construction sites can be particularly serious, with fatalities not being unheard of. Not only do such incidents cause emotional stress and anxiety for those who work for the company, but they also have a detrimental effect on the company’s bank balance. Construction businesses who experience serious accidents will incur heavy fines.

In order to avoid accidents, such as the collapse of a piling rig, there have been revisions made to the platform certificate, which is an integral part of ensuring the stability of a piling rig. Although getting a certificate is not mandatory, it is now considered industry best practice. It is not the end of the responsibility of the contractor however, as the construction site needs to be constantly monitored to ensure ongoing safety of the workers. The ground does not always stay in the same condition during a project so if there is evidence of any changes to the stability of a piling rig, work should be stopped immediately and the situation assessed before work continues.

House Builders Association dispute Rise in Planning Application Fees

January 7, 2011 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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The government has been met with opposition from the House Builders Association (HBA) over the proposal to increase planning application fees for new construction projects. The HBA has queried the fact that initial measures are not being put in place by local authorities to reduce costs before fees are increases. The priority is supposedly to cut costs but this is not reflected in this new proposal.

The HBA fear that because some local authorities already profit from their planning service, charging others who are inefficient can only result in nurturing a culture of laziness and complacency which is unacceptable, particularly in today’s climate.

The HBA have put forward some recommendations as an alternative to the planning application fees proposal. Firstly, before they can even consider raising fees, local authorities must be forced to reduce costs. “Free riders” should be obligated to pay any further fees that are outside the remit of construction workers. Finally, under no circumstances should fees be increased for house building applications made for two or more homes.

The HBA stress that the government should rethink the proposal as they have already acknowledged that the cost of planning and many other factors are a heavy burden on house builders. The government need to prove that they really are committed to reducing regulation costs, as that is what they promote.

Scottish Construction Jobs under threat

December 31, 2010 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Dire warnings regarding Scotland’s construction industry have been released which speculate that 11,000 jobs could be cut in 2011. The losses are expected to be due to construction workloads flagging next year which could see industry output decrease by over £600m.

The survey chronicling this data was carried out by The Scottish Building Federation (SBF). The statistics show that nearly two thirds of those who contributed to the survey are expecting to be forced to reduce their staff numbers. I measly 5%think that they will be able to increase their workforce.

These revelations come after a slight recovery for the construction industry during 2010; a recovery which is deemed to reverse. Michael Levack, chief executive for SBF has remarked that:

“Overall, as 2010 draws to a close, I think the mood amongst construction firms is very apprehensive. With the value of new orders apparently shrinking, with Scotland’s public capital budget facing a cut of more than 20% next year, and with many other sectors of the industry – not least house building and commercial – continuing to struggle, our members are bracing themselves for tough times ahead.”

He also advised that MSP’s should take “careful heed” of the information and take it into consideration for the coming negotiations for next year’s Scottish budget.

£3bn saving with the Construction Industry

December 24, 2010 by Harvey Banks · Comments Off
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Infrastructure UK has outlined improvements that could be made to increase efficiency and ultimately reduce building and infrastructure maintenance costs by 15%. The new initiative will involve the government and the construction industry developing a much more intimate working relationship.

The plan covers different areas including procurement improvements, increasing productivity, making process more efficient and encouraging fresh approaches to construction.

Investigation steering group chairman Terry Hill said: “Evidence from the investigation suggests a high degree of consensus that efficiency improvements can be achieved and that the infrastructure construction industry will respond positively to client side improvements in planning, commissioning and procurement of projects and programmes.”

It has been estimated that implementing the new plan could result in saving £3bn a year on civil engineering. There are currently unnecessary standards in place which hinder workflow and there is also a lack of data which results in difficulty over making investment decisions and setting targets for the future.

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