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Innovations present paradigm shift for house foundations


New developments in equipment and techniques could create a “paradigm shift” in the way house foundations are delivered, says Abbey Pynford director Paul Kiss.

Speaking at yesterday’s inaugural JCB Foundations Day, Kiss said that by 2030 half of houses built in the UK could be on raft foundations with a significant proportion undertaken by groundworks contractors.

Kiss presented Abbey Pynford’s modular housedeck solution for raft foundations, which he believes presents the industry with the ability to fast track work and reduce risk. “Piles and ground beams became popular in the 1970s to reduce pile numbers but piling has become cheaper so raft foundations are now more viable,” he said. “The ability to relocate piles under the raft to avoid obstructions and overcome issues with ground heave and flooding add to the benefits.”

“Use of raft foundations with JCB’s piling master could present a paradigm shift in the way house foundations are constructed,” he said.

JCB used to event to demonstrate its backhoe loader-mounted piling rig, which it is targeting at the groundworker and house building market. JCB global product specialist Peter Hyde said: “The Pilingmaster can undertake open bore piling to depths of up to 14m. It presents a unique opportunity for ground workers and developers to bring piling in house.”

Delegates at the event said the development had potential for some applications but some voiced concern about who would undertake the pile design and whether groundworkers would be able to get insurance to undertake piling work.

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