The ability to differentiate between home repairs and improvements that you can make yourself and those that will require the help of a contractor is a very important skill to have. Not only will this skill prevent you from spending more money than you need to on professional services, but it will also help you to avoid costly mistakes by attempting DIY projects that are out of your league. It is my hope that this information contained in this blog will help you to obtain this skill. More importantly, it is my hope that once you have identified a project you wish to take on, this information in this blog will help you to get the job done.
Foundations for large buildings require quite the bit of engineering and design. One such design known as pile design, creates a foundation that goes deep and transfers the above weight to the ground below. This works well for square and rectangular-shaped buildings, but oddly-shaped buildings have more problems. You would need to consult a pile design services group to get a building with an unshakable foundation. Here is how that would work.
Geologic Engineers Survey the Topography of the New Building's Location
After you hire a pile design group, they would send geologic engineers to the site where you expect to erect your building. The survey the topography, otherwise known as "the lay of the land." This is entered into a program they use to calculate the depth and structure weight and the ground's ability to hold the building upright.
They may also take core samples of the soil, up to several yards below the surface, to check the composition of the soil. Certain soils can bear more weight, while others can bear almost no weight at all. The soil composite information also helps the engineers determine if you can build your building on that spot and still stabilize it using a pile foundation.
Checking for Seismic Activity
If there are any earthquakes in the area, the engineers need to know that. Measurements of seismic activity can affect the construction of the pile foundation and design. For instance, a pile foundation built for a twenty-story building in an area where there are no earthquakes may only be a couple hundred yards deep with one- to two-foot thick walls.
In an area where seismic activity is a regular occurrence, that same building may have a foundation that is several hundred yards deep and foundation walls that are three- to six-feet thick to counteract earthquakes and vibrations. Clearly, you would want whatever foundation thickness and depth that can withstand the amount of seismic activity in your area.
Back in the Design Office
Once the design engineers, such as from Alberta Screw Plies LTD, have all the valid information they need about your unusual foundation, the ground, seismic activity, etc., then they return to the office to begin the design work. Their final design is the one that ultimately says that your pile foundation can or cannot be done in that location. If it can be done, the design will dictate to your construction contractor exactly how far down to excavate and how thick he/she has to make the walls before beginning to build upwards.