Untrained staff and inadequate, uncalculated products nearly brought the house down, literally.

The challenge

This annexe was built primarily as a wonderful guest suite to host visiting family and friends, and with a family wedding imminent, the client was understandably upset when the building began to sink and bow making the annexe unusable. The building contractor contacted the original ground screw installation company, but it was made clear that they would not investigate further or accept any liability, instead, they claimed it was a build quality issue, specifically with the base. The contractor, obviously very concerned, was then recommended to contact us at GBGS to seek professional assistance. One of our trained and accredited teams were despatched to undertake site testing and after a thorough investigation, a full report was compiled. It was determined that the building was indeed built on a perfectly suitable SIP base, but the original installation had been carried out without a calibrated, credible ground test, no loading calculations were taken into account, and the untrained operative installed only 67mm diameter ground screws which were totally inadequate for the structure being constructed. The result was that the screws simply sunk (pictured).

The solution

After providing calibrated ground test results and after consultation with structural engineers and the contractor, GBGS technical staff came up with a solution to underpin the building. However, to do this whilst allowing the building to remain in situ, was a mammoth task. The inadequate ground screws were cut away and a new sub-base installed on our calculated ground screw foundation, requiring the use of a substantial steel base throughout the entire area of the building.

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