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What is underpinning in construction

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Discover the ins and outs of underpinning in construction, its importance, and how it ensures structural stability. Read on to understand the significance of underpinning in the US construction industry.

Construction is a complex field that requires meticulous planning and execution to ensure the safety and longevity of structures. One crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is underpinning. But what exactly is underpinning in construction? In this article, we will delve into the world of underpinning, exploring its definition, importance, and the role it plays in maintaining structural integrity.

What is Underpinning in Construction?

Underpinning in construction refers to the process of strengthening and stabilizing the foundation of a building or structure. It involves extending the foundation depth or providing additional support to existing foundations to counteract subsidence, settlement, or to accommodate an increase in load-bearing capacity.

Understanding the Importance of Underpinning:

Underpinning is a critical step in construction, ensuring the stability of a structure and preventing potential damage. Let's explore the key reasons why underpinning is essential:

  1. Resolving Foundation Issues: Underpinning is often necessary when a building's foundation is compromised

Underpinning is a method of construction that sees the depth of the foundations to a building being increased. The soil beneath the existing foundation is excavated and is replaced with foundation material, normally concrete, in phases. Underpinning requires close attention to design, methodology and safety procedures.

What is the purpose of underpinning?

Underpinning is a process used to repair, strengthen, or increase the depth of an existing foundation by lowering the footing to allow it to rest on more supportive soil.

What is underpinning in construction examples?

Perhaps the most common form of underpinning nowadays, mini-piled underpinning involves either driving or drilling steel piles down below the existing foundations. The space within the steel frame is then filled with concrete or resin, anchoring the piles to a layer of subsoil up to five metres down.

How do you underpin foundation?

The most common method of underpinning is the mass pour method. This process requires excavating sections in sequence to a pre-established depth below the footing and placing concrete in each pit. Then, this process is repeated until the entire affected area has been underpinned.

What is the simple method of underpinning?

In mass pour method a concrete foundation is poured beneath the existing foundation in sections. It is a simple method of underpinning and does not require any heavy machinery. Mini Piled method is best for those sites where soil condition are variable and the access areas around the foundation are limited.

What is the purpose of underpinning in construction?

In construction or renovation, underpinning is the process of strengthening the foundation of an existing building or other structure. Underpinning may be necessary for a variety of reasons: The original foundation isn't strong or stable enough. The usage of the structure has changed.

What is the difference between underpinning and foundation?

Underpinning is the reinforcing of an existing building foundation. It is required when the original foundation is no longer strong enough to support the house. This is usually a result of a change to the soil structure, whether due to the type of soil or some external influence on the soil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical underpinning detail?

Underpinning is a method of construction that sees the depth of the foundations to a building being increased. The soil beneath the existing foundation is excavated and is replaced with foundation material, normally concrete, in phases. Underpinning requires close attention to design, methodology and safety procedures.

How do I know if I need underpinning?

A house may need to be underpinned if it has been affected by subsidence. Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a property begins to sink downwards. When the foundations of a property are no longer supported by the ground beneath, walls and floors can shift and crack.

FAQ

What are the situations for underpinning?

It is required when the original foundation is no longer strong enough to support the house. This is usually a result of a change to the soil structure, whether due to the type of soil or some external influence on the soil.

Does underpinning last forever?
No structural engineering works last forever, including underpinning. It's impossible to create everlasting foundations, as the soil can always potentially suffer from further subsidence.

What is underpinning in construction

How is foundation underpinning done?

The most common method of underpinning is the mass pour method. This process requires excavating sections in sequence to a pre-established depth below the footing and placing concrete in each pit. Then, this process is repeated until the entire affected area has been underpinned.

What is the difference between underpinning and new foundation?

Underpinning can be done in one of two ways: one, improve the foundation system by enlarging the existing foundations or adding new foundations, and two, to improve the properties of the soil below the foundations without touching the building at all.

  • What are the basics of underpinning?
    • The basics:

      Underpinning extends the existing footings of a building so that it reaches more stable founding material, preventing the building from shifting. This can be established once a soil report is completed to determine where the geotechnical specialist requires the footings to be founded.

  • What is the most common type of underpinning?
    • Mass Concrete Underpinning

      Also known as traditional underpinning, this is the oldest method still in use. It involves excavating sections below the foundations, one at a time, and backfilling each with concrete before moving on to the next.

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