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Considering Ground Stability Before Commencing a Project

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Have you ever heard that metaphor about the ground shifting beneath one’s feet? It certainly doesn’t entail anything pleasant. It implies change, but of the destructive, life-shaking kind that may or may not be survivable.

In construction, it is vital that the ground does not shift beneath your building’s foundation in the literal sense. Unstable ground means that your building is likely to fail mechanically and become unsafe for occupation—that is, without the proper supports, construction services, and architectural design.

Miller Architects and Builders conducts a pre-construction survey that assesses the quality of ground before commencing a project. This saves you costly repairs in the future. During our survey, we investigate the following areas:

Bearing Capacity

Bearing capacity is, essentially, a measurement of how well the ground around your planned building can carry the building’s weight. Every type of soil has a different strength; therefore, it’s vital we check the depth of the foundation of other buildings in the area to determine exactly how much weight the soil can take. If landslides are a common occurrence in your region, it is safe to say that the ground is relatively unstable, and your building might require a deeper foundation. Though more expensive, a deeper foundation can take more weight than a shallow one and helps to prevent soil-related mechanical failures.

Water Table

The water table refers to a layer of underground soil saturated with water. Beneath the water table is the groundwater zone, where the deposits of water lie. A water table close to the surface of the ground can mean weak, unstable soil; if your proposed building site is lower in the ground than surrounding areas, the existence of the water table means that water can flow into your site, strain surrounding soil, and damage your foundation.

Construction Management and Trial Holes

If you have LIM and PIM documents for a proposed site already, subsoil testing is not needed. If these documents are unavailable, Miller Architects and Builders will dig small holes to collect soil samples that give us more information about bearing capacity and the water table. This allows us to help make a sound, educated decision about whether this proposed site is right for your building.

Ready to Get Started?

Never construct a building blindly. Hire a qualified construction management company to help assess your soil quality and make smart decisions about your next project. At Miller Architects and Builders, we offer pre-construction assessments and construction management services in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Give us a call today at 320.251.4109 or contact us through our website. We serve Saint Cloud, Duluth, Mora and outstate Minnesota cities.