Found yourself dealing with a ‘tricky’ plot of land?
Unstable ground, clay or weak soils can all generally send developers running for the hills with potential extortionate groundwork costs and costly delays on site. For those who like to take on technical challenges, talk of ground improvement techniques ensues, usually with the term ‘piling’ at the forefront.
However, we are now beginning to see vibratory techniques more commonly used on ‘difficult sites’ as a more economical and cost effective alternative to traditional ground improvement methods.
The vibratory process is a ground improvement technique which is applied to weak natural soils and filled ground with the purpose to improve the load bearing capacity, reduce settlement and provide an adequate bearing stratum for the building’s foundations. Whilst vibratory methods do have their advantages it is also imperative that you understand their limitations before making a decision on their use.
There are two vibratory techniques commonly used in the UK known as the ‘dry bottom feed' and the ‘dry top feed’. Each work specifically for differing soil conditions, therefore it is important to seek the advice of a structural engineer at design stage in order to choose the most effective technique. It is also important to take into account the following when considering vibratory techniques for ground improvement:
Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication (November 2018). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.