Information collection/assessment - Structural Consideration.

Previously have discussed the assessment of information from ground investigation and the collection of details of the soil, groundwater, chemicals, etc., together with the need to inspect the site and surrounding buildings.

In order to assist in this procedure it is useful to use a checklist which can be monitored against actions to make sure that other important items have not been missed. This list can be updated and extended in the light of experience for particular types of jobs and group conditions. Below is a suggested initial check-list for general buildings in the UK.

The following list is not presented in any significant order but as a reminder of the various points to consider.

(1) History of the site.
(2) Soil qualities.
(3) Water-table details.
(4) Chemical qualities (pH values, sulfates, combustion, swelling, ground contamination).
(5) Mining situation (coal, brine, clay, tin, lead, etc.).
(6) Access to site.
(7) Site contours and vegetation.
(8) Overhead and underground services.
(9) Existing tunnels, etc.
(10) Condition of existing buildings on and around the site.
(11) Foundations of adjoining buildings.
(12) Proposed superstructure requirements.
(13) Acceptable settlements and movements.
(14) Type of contractors likely to be employed.
(15) Availability of materials relative to the site location.
(16) Condition of the site and its ability to support heavy construction plant and equipment.

In addition to the collection of the information listed above concerning the actual site to accommodate the new development, it is also necessary to have a clear understanding of the client’s requirements and criteria for the development proposals.

In parallel to site data collection the following points in check-list 2 should be established.

Check-list 2 – information regarding site development

(1) Nature of the proposed development and phasing of works.
(2) Future development/extensions.
(3) Extent of any possible repositioning of building(s) within site area.
(4) Site features to be retained.
(5) The loads required to be supported.
(6) The amount of settlement/differential movement which can be tolerated.
(7) Any plant, equipment or chemicals likely to be used in the building.
(8) The need for any tanks, basement and/or underground services.

All these items can significantly affect structural consideration and foundation solutions. It is also important to check which of the client’s requirements are rigid and which are flexible in order to be able to make realistic recommendations and adjustments which could produce economies or improvements to the scheme.

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