Flooding is becoming a growing problem for the UK. With the increase of extreme weather events combined with the erosion of the floodplain, it’s predicted that 130,000 hectares of British land will be regularly flooded by 2080. And for the building industry, this presents real problems. While they have a duty of care to ensure that any new builds are safe and durable, there are whole swathes of the country where flooding is already an issue. Making building flood-safe houses an absolute priority. And suspended rafts on screw piles are currently the most viable solution.

Combating Flooding with Suspended Rafts on Screw Piles

What are the benefits of using suspended raft and screw pile foundations?

The problem with flooding is that the water exerts a strong degree of pressure upon building foundations. With traditional cement foundations, this can cause cracking and a range of related structural issues. With a piled raft foundation, the structure is provided with greater buoyancy. The piles help to control and reduce the settlement of the raft. While the overall load capacity is enhanced. Together, these features help to make the foundations – and therefore the building – stronger. And better able to withstand the damaging pressure of floodwater.

What do you need to consider when using helical piles with a suspended raft foundation?

A major benefit of using screw piles with suspended raft foundations is that they can be used for projects of almost any size. From garden rooms to multistorey buildings. But whatever you are working on, your primary focus needs to be upon calculating the highest potential load capacity of your structure – including flood water. This will allow you to ascertain the optimum number of screw piles for the project.  

As well as ascertaining the right number of piles, you need to be certain that you have the optimum pile diameter, length, and reinforcement. This will ultimately establish the stability of the final structure.

How to use screw piles with a suspended raft

Once you know how many piles you need, the installation process is quick and simple.

  1. Install the screw piles at regular intervals across the site. This can be done using an excavator or other groundworks vehicle. Monitoring the torque, simply rotate the piles until they reach the desired depth. Once in place, the piles are ready to use immediately.
  2. At this stage you can add a flat plate termination to each pile. This will provide the anchor to attach the suspended raft to the piles. However, some groundworkers choose to thread steel work into the top of the pile instead of using flat plates. Both methods are acceptable.
  3. Create your raft. Whether you have dug shallow foundations or created a temporary frame with steel work incorporated, you should be able to pour your concrete, as you would with any other slab foundation.

Are there any other benefits to using screw piles with a suspended raft?

As well as providing safe and durable foundations for flood-prone areas, screw piles and suspended rafts offer a number of other benefits. It’s an extremely cost-effective solution. Installation is quick, compared to many other methods. The solution is versatile. And screw piles have a much lower environmental impact than many other foundation options.

The UK construction industry is changing for a variety of reasons. And finding solutions to evolving environmental demands and conditions is one of the primary concerns. With flooding an ever-growing priority. The combination of screw piles and a suspended raft is proving to be one of the most effective solutions.

Get in touch with UK Helix to discuss your commercial construction needs.

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