It’s an Education Building a School
All building projects have their own unique challenges to overcome, whether it be trees, party wall agreements or made up ground. As builders we find that most of the challenges we come across are in the ground i.e. at the foundation stage of the job as we never quite know what we are going to come across until that first shovel enters the dirt.
We have for a number of years been heavily involved with school refurbishments and new builds and we recently took on a school project in Walsall that required a raft foundation. The project itself is straight forward enough, an “L” shaped extension to an existing building to form two new classrooms, a library and new entrances.
Once the site cabins were set up and fences installed (it was a live school and health & safety is of paramount importance), it was time for a spot of demolition to make way for the ground workers to move in.
All building projects have a beginning and it follows that you can’t put the roof on until the walls are up, and walls have to be built on a base strong enough to carry the loads of the building, so it’s logical that the foundation have to be constructed first. There’s a lot of work that goes into this initial stage as consideration has to be made for the services too such as gas, water, electricity and sewage and it’s important to take all of these into account when preparing for the foundations and floor slab.
Ground workers provide a concrete solution
Foundations come in many shapes and sizes and are specified accordingly. Factors that influence which design of foundation to use are typically:
- Ground conditions
- Access to the site
- What loads the foundations have to support
Raft foundations are typically specified where the load of the walls and columns that makes up the building need to be spread over a large area. Rafts are often built with thickened perimeters to provide protection against frost damage which in reality creates a trench fill foundation with integrated slab tied together with a reinforced steel structure. Downstand edge beams can also be used to help stiffen the whole foundation structure.
Rafts are used where it is necessary to limit the load to the underlying soil due to instability and/or the grounds ability to carry the stresses without undue movement which can happen where there is a variation of load transmitted.
Gordon, one of our SSSTS certified site managers has been running the job for us and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty as we can see from this progress image.
“As building contractors we know that once we are out of the ground it’s generally plane sailing and communication with the other trades to keep them up to date with the program ensures for a smooth running project” Gordon Terry.
Well the job is certainly coming on leaps and bounds and at the time of writing the building is pretty well watertight and is programmed to finish on schedule.
You can follow the progress of the school project here with a photographic diary we’ve created. Watch as these Walsall builders create the perfect work space for the next generation.
If you would like to find out more about Cameron Butcher’s services, have a question or, would like us to visit you to discuss your project requirements, please contact us here. We will be pleased to help.
Be assured that our core values of safety, quality, delivery and value shine through every aspect of our business. As a professional building contractor, we will not let you down.
Call us on 0845 900 5762 for more information.