Getting started with your build

2nd January 2023

2023 may be the year you decide to complete your project build. On the drawing board, everything is ready including designs, layouts and arrangement. However, has the ground beneath your build been thoroughly investigated? If not, this could spell disaster.

Thankfully, mechanisms such as Building Regulations, codes of practice and guidance are used to ensure safe design; however ground investigation is still sometimes either absent/overlooked or not fit-for-purpose.

Support your build

Building RegulationsYour may be considering building a new office, retail unit, bridge, road or your dream home. Therefore, you need to carefully consider what’s beneath the structures footprint and how the ground may interact with new foundations or construction layers.

Foundations come is various shapes and sizes, and the depth these are placed should be based of sufficient ground investigation information.

Foundations are generally split into two categories. Shallow or deep foundations. For deep foundations, this generally includes depths >3m and mostly relates to piles.

Shallow foundations may include strip footings, rafts, pads etc which are often reinforced with metal to provided added support.

What affects foundation design?

Site Investigation FarnboroughBuilding a detailed ground model is critical to foundation design. When a new load, such as a house, is place onto the earth, you need certainty that the ground wont fail. Therefore, this latter aspect is determined through ground investigation.

Intrusive exploration such as placement of boreholes deep into the earth will allow the properties of the soils and rocks to be determined. This includes strength, consistency, compressibility etc. Such information including an understanding of groundwater conditions will allow safe bearing pressures and settlement analysis to be performed. This information is used to inform your builds foundation design.

Next steps

Authorities such as Building Control or you building inspector are a good port of call. They will provide advice and may recommend that you complete a ground investigation. What is a ground investigation? Northpoint have summarised this process in a previous blog. Ultimately, the ground investigation will build a detailed ground model and will tell you what type and size of foundations you required and at what depth to place these. Inadequate design, or no design at all, could have devastating consequences to your build.

Investing time into understanding the ground conditions beneath your build is of vital importance. At Northpoint, we speclialise in this process and our experts can undertake the ground investigation on your behalf.

Contact the team and see how we can make a difference to your build.