Subsidence and heave affect millions of homes in Britain, with almost 1 million in the highest-risk category. With extreme weather conditions becoming more common, the numbers affected are expected to rise. The areas with the highest risk of subsidence and heave are Colchester, South London, Bristol and Glasgow. Within the M25, 40% of all postcodes are classified as being at risk of subsidence or heave. These issues are often made more prominent through adjacent trees which abstract large amounts of water from the surrounding soil which increases the shrinkage rate.
Some clay soils change their volume in relation to their water content. They shrink as they become drier and expand as they become wetter. They act like a sponge. Some types of clay shrink and expand more than other types. Builders should always take the soil conditions into account when designing a building but rarely do.
The NHBC advise you provide a void under floors to accommodate heave
where required along with the use of heave protection to protect the foundation
from volume change of the soil. If a foundation is constructed as a concrete
slab, then there is a high risk that it will move when the soil volume
Our Other Services
Civil & Structural Engineering
Engineering Innovation is at the heart of our approach to structural engineering. Shire were formed during 1988 in the belief that many clients were dissatisfied with the traditional reactive response of some Engineers.
Shire have a vast array of in-house design skills and expertise. Our dedicated telecoms team are often driving a gold design standard in the industry for others to follow. Our commitment is to provide quality design in a proactive, forward-thinking way & quickly! Our services also include site surveying, building analysis, tower analysis and line of sight surveys.
Shire originally started the geotechnical service to provide our own engineers with information on site, while the structural surveys were being carried out. This allowed us to offer a reactive, rapid response to our clients as a ‘one-stop shop’ for Design, Investigation and Construction.
As Structural Engineers, we have worked with the Property Insurance sector since 1998. We conduct structural inspections, impact damage analysis, specialist investigations and root cause analysis. All of which is engineer-led using straightforward language. Our experienced engineers are also asked to conduct Expert Reports and Expert Witness Service for homeowners and clients alike.
Shire offer a specialist building repair service registered under the Safe Contractor Accreditation and the Contractors Health & Safety Assessments schemes. In conjunction with our inspection & investigation services, we can offer a full solution from initial cause analysis through to structural repair.