One of the many tasks we commonly undertake at BellMont Façade Engineering, is remedial and diagnostic inspections. You may be wondering ‘but what does that actually mean?’ In short, it is an in depth investigation on defects present within a building/site, where we will then consult on potential solutions to the problem. But there’s a bit more to the process then it would first seem. So we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what you should expect when an engineer is inspecting.
Firstly, you should expect us to actually be there onsite, so it’s important to make sure that occupants are also available to provide access. It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember, that access arrangements are followed through on.
After we’re there, you can expect us to undertake our initial investigations of the building/site. This initial inspection will involve us assessing what potential defects are present. During this time we will be liaising with whomever is in charge, asking questions such as the buildings age, for structural drawings, when was it last inspected, etc. It’s important for an engineer to gather as much information about a building as they can, as this will allow for a comprehensive analysis of the situation, therefore leading to better directions on remediation.
After we have conducted our inspection of the project, we’ll return to our offices and look over our site notes, assess all of the data we have at our disposal and write an analytical report. This report will contain a detailed list of defects present, our opinions on the cause(s) of them, as well as suggested actions for remediating the identified issues. Some defects can be dangerous and need to be attended to before others, we will also mark these out clearly for clients to see, so they know what needs attention the quickest.
During our assessment of defects, we also have to determine not just a theoretical solution to the issues at hand, but one can be implemented practically and successfully. This involves us running simulations and calculations on wide number of potential materials to do the job. The results of these simulations and calculations will dictate the final solution, whereon a technical specification will be supplied as part of the solution.
During the construction phase of the project, we would also supervise the project with regular inspections, also reviewing and considering payment claims and variations from contractors.
At the end of a project, we will also issue a certificate of practical completion, assuming all work has been satisfactorily completed to specifications.
Some suggestions we have in order to be properly prepared, is to:
If you have need for an inspection to be performed, contact us and talk to BellMont Facade Engineering about how we can assist you.
It’s well known that concrete is one of the world’s most used building materials. Considering its extreme level of versatility in its use, portability and affordability; it makes sense. Coming in a variety of types, with most of them being largely comprised of similar substances, it can be hard to see why there are so many concretes on the market. However it’s those small and often subtle changes from formula to formula that make all the difference. At BellMont we believe it’s important that people stay as informed as they can about the products they’re using, so they can make better decisions towards achieving their goals.
That’s why we’re taking the time to talk about some of the most common kinds of concrete and the sort of work they are suited for.
That about covers our quick look into the most common kinds of concrete and their common applications. We hope that from now, you’ll have a little better understanding of some of the products that get used on your site, and you’re better equipped to make a decision.
One the most deceptive and destructive phenomenon in the construction industry, that happens more often than you would think, is structural sinking or technically known as subsidence. There are a number of reasons that things start to go Titanic in construction, but all of them relate to the way the ground a structure is built on shifts over time. So here is a quick rundown of some of the causes, as well as some advice to minimize its occurrence on your construction projects.
Do your research
Subsidence can occur during construction, when the proper measures to account for how much the kind of soil your building on will shift over time aren't followed. Different kinds of soils will move and settle in different ways. It's important to know exactly what kind of ground you are building on so you can prepare it correctly. If you don’t, over time the ground underneath the building will move in a way this hasn’t been compensated for, ending in another case of sinking.
Subsidence can also occur when the ground that a project is being built upon hasn’t been prepared properly for the construction that will commence on it. In circumstances where construction happens on improperly prepared ground, after a time the soil that the structure sits on, will compact under the weight of the structure and cause the site to shift. Resulting in an unstable construction, cracking and eventual subsidence. Our advice is to make sure that all protocols are being kept to at all stages of the project.
Know where you stand
Another big cause of subsidence is a lack of compensation for how reactive the soil being built on is. Some areas have soil that has a higher concentration of clay, which will expand when wet and contract when dry, which can be an issue in areas prone to drought or floods. Other areas will have a lot of gravel or stony soil which are more susceptible to shifting when nearby sites are excavated or disturbed. So knowing what kind of environment you are building is just as important as knowing what you are building on.
If you're concerned about any subsidence issues that you have, BellMont is able to help you. Feel free to contact us and see what we can do for you.
While every project is unique and calls for different action, in most cases a civil engineers job is to offer consultancy services to their clients on site. The engineer will arrive on site and inspect for defects. Once these defects have been identified and documented, they will be compiled into a report alongside recommendations for their repair.
If the client chooses to address these issues, the engineer will help them to do so by gathering quotes. The client will then decide which quote to go with and the construction process begins.
Once the construction period begins, the engineer will oversee the progress of the project and ensure the job is being done to the specification provided prior. When all works have been completed, the engineer will return to the site to complete their final inspection and report. So, now that we know what they do, its important to know what this individual role can offer.
Engineers are problem solvers:
Engineers incorporate science and maths to analyse defects within a structure and produce practical and efficient ways to solve them.
Engineers have excellent time management skills:
Engineers are basically industry chameleons with the skill to adapt their knowledge of their field to any situation or project. With every project being unique and presenting different issues, what engineers do is nothing short of amazing, knowing exactly what the issue is and how to fix it.
Why would I need an engineer?
Now more than ever engineers are in demand and with the introduction of the new strata scheme their role in ensuring a buildings health and sustainability is a necessity. So the question is, for what reasons would you need an engineer specifically and not a builder, architect or other professional in an associated role? Well only engineers can ensure your buildings health and safety by offering their specialist consultancy services in:
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Concrete Repairs
- Heritage Buildings
- Expert Witness Services
- Project Management
Each associated group has an integral role in the cog that is construction. Architects focus on the aesthetics and planning elements, builders focus on constructing that plan to life and engineers use their expertise to ensure the architects designs and plans are achievable and that the builders carry them out in an effective and sustainable manner.
So I think we can all agree... engineers are pretty amazing hey?