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Building surveys

A solid structure is keyUnfortunately not all buildings have foundations that are built off solid rock. In East Anglia and especially in Norwich, many properties are found to be at risk from foundation movement due to compressible soils such as topsoil, peat and made ground. Disturbance of the ground from leaking drains in soils, such as sands, gravels, clay or made ground can also cause problems.

COMMON COMPLICATIONS

A previously undiscovered vent shaftSome typical shoringLarge areas of East Anglia have a clay sub-soil, and foundation movement can be caused by clay shrinkage or heave. Where there is clear evidence or suspicion of any of these problems, they need to be investigated prior to purchasing a property, or for an insurance claim to be made by an existing property owner.

Problems from solution features and derelict chalk workings are also a regular occurrence in Norwich, requiring urgent attention due to the potential risk to public safety and surrounding buildings.

CLIENT OBJECTIVES

HA Consulting Engineers have a long history of carrying out investigations and solving defects for both private clients in domestic properties and large businesses encountering problems in varied types of commercial properties.

Where residential surveys are concerned, we realise that moving house is a difficult time, and that when the additional problem of a structural defect arises during a purchase, a report is required urgently. Once aware of this we will endeavour to provide a rapid and efficient service.

Major crackingFor over 35 years we have built up valuable experience in and around Norfolk making us one of the oldest, if not actually the oldest established firm of Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers in the county.

We can resolve a wide variety of building defects which not only include foundation problems but other superstructure defects that occur with roofs, floors and walls.

DEFINITIVE REPORTS

Shear vane indicatorThis work constitutes a core element of our business. Therefore we aim to produce a definitive report in a short time, based on investigations which may include hand augured boreholes, trial pit excavations, testing of various subsoils using a shear vane or a makintosh probe, drains tests and other more detailed investigations as dictated by the type of defect.

MONITORING TECHNIQUES          

Vernier CallipersMonitoring structures over set periods of time to help establish whether or not any structural movement is occurring in a specific area, this is a field in which we have considerable experience. Once identified, cracks can easily be checked using Monitoring Pins in conjunction with Vernier Callipers or by using a Demac Gauge.

Alternatively, for larger or more sensitive projects the use of remotely read inclinometers may be required, which can accurately assess minor incremental movement in any direction.

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