When it comes to groundwork projects, many construction companies involve partial or total demolition, refurbishment, or working in close proximity to other buildings or structures are likely to require some form of temporary works. This can include: propping, needling, shoring, facade retention, crash decks, weather protection, and temporary screens.
Prior to commencing any structural demolition or refurbishment work, and before doing any groundwork on London sites, it is important to have a thorough understanding of how a structure works. Our contractors start by researching any existing documentation, such as built drawings, original design calculations, soil investigations, etc, and checking for any planning constraints, and carrying out on-site surveys.
As we know through our experiences, historic buildings and structures may have been built using traditional ‘rules of thumb’ which may not conform to modern building regulations, and as-built information often does not exist.
Before doing any temporary propping systems in London, a building’s overall state of repair needs to be considered, as this can make the work particularly challenging and risky. For all propping systems projects in London, adjacent property owners need to be consulted and party wall agreements obtained. Neighbouring properties may rely on the building or structure for support or stability and may require temporary structural support or temporary protection from the weather.
In order to carry out a structural survey before doing any groundwork or propping on London sites, the whole area must be secured, with safe access established, especially where some temporary propping works in London may be required to gain safe access.
Any survey should establish things including how overall structural stability is achieved, what materials have been used, the direction of spanning members, what loads are being supported, foundation details, the state of repair, existing hazards, and the location and position of existing services.
With any groundwork or propping, groundworks contractors need to pay attention to any areas of visible distress (bowing, leaning, cracking, fire damage, water ingress, etc.) and areas where repairs or alterations have been carried out, to ascertain whether any areas are deemed dangerous and in imminent danger of collapse and in need of temporary propping.