Below the Ground Structures… and Why You Need Yours Surveyed
Below the ground structures, or underground structures, are a large part of everyday life and many of our buildings.
Below the ground structures include basements, tunnels, pipelines, underground carparks and lift pits. They require slightly different planning than above the ground structures as it’s important to consider the ramifications of working underground and moving soil around.
Why You Need a Surveyor Before Starting Work on Your Below the Ground Structure
Below the ground structures require careful planning and attention, and it’s important to undertake a survey of the area to understand the lie of the land you’re working with. When beginning works on an underground structure you must adhere to the BS 8102:2009 regulation. It’s there to give you advice and guidance on preventing any water from entering your structure. Waterproofing the area surrounding the structure is crucial, as construction work needs to take place in a dry, safe environment.
A topographical survey can be very useful for working out level differences, which you can then use for working out external access, light and ventilation. Ground levels are a significant factor if your land is on a slope because different ground levels will affect water levels and the amount of soil needed to be excavated to build a level structure.
You must identify load-bearing walls and how wide the trenches need to be dug. Trial holes will be dug around the site after your survey so it can be decided which way is best to place the foundations. A geological survey will encompass a soil test which gives you an idea of what the foundations are like before you start any structural work in the area. Depending on the soil it will have an impact on the building work. Undisturbed soil (soil that’s been in place for thousands of years) is excellent because your foundations and footings must be placed on solid ground. Concrete is the most popular material to build a basement with as it is economical and provides a strong foundation. You must also use reinforced concrete for your structure.
Wait, There’s More!
An accurate survey will allow you to create a precise plan of your construction and helps you identify and plan for potential issues. A survey will show your property boundaries – not something you want to miscalculate! – and play a part in finding out the level of the water table so you can be sure that the area won’t flood during building, or after construction is completed.
It can become extremely costly if important elements of the job are overlooked before construction starts. If you decide not to carry out a survey, you could run into very serious, expensive problems, and could potentially face demolishing the whole site and starting again. It’s hard to overstate the importance of going through the necessary procedures to ensure you are getting it right the first time.
Have We Convinced You?
You can get in touch with us to find out which survey you need for your below the ground structure and we can help you throughout the building works. Call 020 8935 5160, email [email protected] or message us.