In our various roles as groundwork contractors, paving contractors and drainage preparation specialists, one of the most common areas of work we undertake involves foundation installations. This is hardly surprising as foundations remain one of the most essential aspects of any building project in Brighton, the surrounding areas and across the country. Without adequate foundation installations, the building atop them would gradually, or rapidly, sink into the ground or, even worse, collapse due to a lack of support. Naturally, this is far from ideal!
Here at BVMH Groundworks, we have expertise across a complete range of groundwork installations. From a new driveway at a domestic home to foundation installations on a large construction project, we know how to support structures of any size.
As such, on this page we discuss how deep we lay our foundations in relation to the type of ground found at sites in Brighton and beyond, as well as numerous other factors.
The Nature of the Load
Generally speaking, the heavier the load of the structure, the deeper foundation installations need to be. Foundations tend to come in two forms: shallow and deep. As groundwork contractors, we tend to use shallow designs to support relatively lighter weights in line with the load-bearing capacity of the ground.
We use deep foundations when this surrounding ground cannot support the load safely. Quite simply, we need to transfer the load of the structure to deeper foundation installations with a greater load-bearing capacity.
If Brighton-based sites have stony ground, we can perform foundation installations, as well as drainage preparation work, at a relatively shallow depth and in the raft, pad, strip or trench fill varieties. However, sites with clay soil require deeper foundations, usually in the region of 1 metre. We outline this in more detail below.
If the ground has suboptimal quality, we dig to a depth of approximately 2.5 metres. At these depths, our groundwork contractors usually steer clear of shallow foundations, opting for concrete rafts or piling instead.
Whether as paving contractors laying a new driveway or groundwork contractors undertaking drainage preparation or foundation installations, the presence of water or moisture in the soil has an effect on any type of groundworks in the Brighton area. As a rule of thumb, we dig down to a depth where the moisture content becomes stable.
If the site of your proposed foundation installations contains trees in the vicinity, we either excavate to a much deeper depth or utilise steel to prevent the encroachment of tree roots over time. Both of these approaches drastically minimise the amount of damage foliage can cause to foundations.
As time-served groundwork contractors, paving contractors and drainage preparation specialists, trees and their root networks have long been a thorn in our side. However, over the years, we have found numerous methods and approaches to deal with them effectively, ensuring anything from a new driveway to foundation installations remain structurally sound and intact long into the future.