The Foundation Inspection Services our Structural Engineers provide help to determine the safe bearing capacity particular to the individual site and the type of structure built. The saying that ” a wise man builds his house upon the rock”, still holds true in this day of age, albeit the availability of sites on offer with a hard bedrock upon which a new building could be founded, are few and far between.
There is an immensely wide choice of foundations available to choose from, some of which may also involve improvement to the ground conditions by different methods. Concrete foundations are dominating the market place, although steel alternatives are favored by more demanding grounds. Alternative foundation options imply different price points. Hence, a good foundation design will review the key alternatives against the site conditions to establish a suitable and cost effective design.
We regularly advise clients and contractors on alternative foundation options which may be more suitable and which save on costs for a particular site. Recently the trend within the industry has been to develop a cost plan for a project at an early stage and in order to ensure an adequate budget is available for foundations, piling is often proposed which provides a reasonable degree of certainty in the cost plan. This may not be the most suitable form of foundations but it is perhaps the most predictable in terms of cost.
Rapid construction programmes often dictate an urgency to the foundation installation and leave little time for alternative solutions to be developed. Atom Consultants review project proposals along with the site geotechnical information to determine where savings can be made. This can often result in a significant reduction in the construction cost to the client whilst still maintaining adequate foundations for the supported structure.
We welcome any enquiries for advice on foundation choice or alternative design solutions. Alternative foundation solutions are a regular feature in our Design Efficiency Reports which look at cost effective alternative designs which can assist with savings in both time and overall cost.