Movement Monitoring Survey In Westminster, London
THS Concepts was tasked with monitoring the renovation and basement construction of a large mansion located in the heart of London, near St James Palace.
Article By: Tom Ayre
Last Update: January 2023
THS Concepts was contracted by Stoneforce to conduct precise movement monitoring of Selwyn House, situated near St. James Palace in Westminster. The monitoring aimed to assess the building and adjacent properties for movement during extensive renovation work and the construction of a three-story basement.
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Background & Challenges
We were contracted by Stoneforce, a renowned London-based building contractor known for constructing high-quality houses. The project entailed a comprehensive refurbishment of the property and the construction of an extensive three-story basement. Throughout this process, the contractor sought to ensure that any building movement was closely monitored and promptly reported.
Situated just a stone’s throw from St. James Palace and several other high-profile buildings, the importance of accurate monitoring surveys was paramount. These surveys help to avoid potential future claims by observing movement trends, safeguarding the structural integrity of the property and neighbouring buildings.
Before arriving on-site to set up the movement monitoring surveys, we collaborated with the client to determine optimal positions for monitoring targets. Careful planning was necessary to ensure that ongoing construction and temporary works would not obstruct the target locations, and we also considered the neighbouring properties that required targets, engaging in delicate discussions with local Westminster residents.
To avoid clashes, we decided to mount many targets higher up, using a cherry picker to fix them to the property walls at various heights for the best understanding of potential movement. After the initial setup, our experienced survey team revisited the project weekly to re-survey the target locations. The surveys were conducted using our Leica TS15 1-second instrument, renowned for its high accuracy and reliability. Weekly reports demonstrated the minor vertical and horizontal movements typical during construction work.
Results & Impact
The movement monitoring surveys’ results revealed intriguing trends. Minor movements were primarily contained to Selwyn House, with little to no impact on neighbouring buildings despite extensive construction, such as building a basement. Another interesting trend emerged during “heavy” construction work: small movements occurred during digging and structural work, but slowed down afterward. This indicated that the movements were a direct result of the construction activities, rather than an underlying issue with the ground.
In conclusion, the project was a success, and our movement monitoring surveys effectively tracked the impact of the construction work. If we were to undertake a similar project in the future, we would strive to optimise target placement on the buildings, allowing for more efficient survey equipment setup in fewer locations.
This improvement would expedite our on-site work, enable a quicker return to the office, and facilitate faster issuance of daily reports, further enhancing our service and client satisfaction