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.
In Australia there are a number of historical buildings and locations, often referred to as ‘heritage sites’ or ‘heritage listings’, with systems put in place that govern how they are protected and maintained; such as the Burra Charter. The specifics for how something becomes a heritage site differs from state to state, but in general, an application must be made to the relevant governing bodies who will then determine whether the site in question will be listed as heritage.
Heritage listed sites are often quite old, usually built with materials that are no longer in production. This can make the maintenance on heritage listings fairly intricate and challenging, but there are a number of reasons why it is important to do so. If you don't keep on top of everything that needs doing, problems will pile up and often escalate, leading to more expensive work requiring to be undertaken.
Originally introduced in 1979, the Burra Charter was adopted for the protection and preservation of the historical mining town, Burra in South Australia. Since the its inception, numerous people have collaborated and worked to update it, ensuring that the charter continues to be a source of not just relevant theoretical information concerning the maintenance of all heritage buildings, but also the practical. To date, in Australia, it remains to be the chief source of information regarding the proper procedures that should be followed when undertaking works on heritage sites.
One of the more tangible reasons to make sure a heritage site is looked after and doesn’t fall into a state of disrepair, is that they can be great for promoting financial growth in an area. This is mostly due to tourism, as people will come from far and wide to see a little piece of history. This is especially important in more remote and rural areas of the country.
Another reason for the protection of heritage listings, is the preservation of history and culture. Often times these sites offer a snap-shot into the time period of their development, which offers a unique insight into what it was like back then. Architecture and building technologies of a period have always lent a unique perspective otherwise unobtainable into what a society would have been like.
We would be remiss to not mention that another reason for their protection is for an artistic sake, so that future generations can appreciate the marvels of yesteryear. Photographs and videos can only do so much, and it is unlikely that actually visiting a site and seeing it with your own eyes will ever be beaten.
Although many of these sites can be tricky to maintain and prevent dilapidation, don’t worry. Here at BellMont we have the benefit of almost 20 years’ experience in the field and we’re ready to help.
So if you’re looking for an engineer to help you with a heritage project, contact us today.
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.
It’s no secret that the New South Wales construction industry have experienced a boom over the past few years. Luckily, for our industry, this boom has created a domino effect for associated industries, resulting in an increase in job opportunities for engineers. Meaning, a field once thought to be struggling, is now thriving.
In recent years, we have begun to notice a rise in civil construction projects with the state government investing in major road and rail projects such as the Sydney Metro, Sydney Light Rail and Parramatta Light Rail. With these major infrastructure projects comes a demand for civil engineers, structural engineers, and consulting engineers.
With companies, governments and citizens alike choosing to invest in the construction and engineering industries, now is a better time than ever to be an engineer!
If you have identified an issue with your building and require an inspection by one of our engineers, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.