You may have been looking for a new location for your commercial operation, as you have simply outgrown the existing building, or it may no longer be suitable for your expansion plans. After an extensive search, you may have come across a new property which is well placed for your market and believe that it would be, on balance, perfect for your expansion. However, you may need to complete a few changes first to make sure that the building is more than capable of standing up to your demands and this may require modifications to its foundation. How should you approach this?
Assessing the Load
As part of your general expansion, you may have to introduce equipment or machinery that, when taken together, represent a substantial weight. You might not have encountered this issue in your previous property but want to make sure that your new building is able to cope with the extra stress. Assuming that your structural engineer is happy with the load-bearing capacity of the individual floors, you still need to look at the foundation, as this has to accept the entire weight of the loaded building.
Planning for Reinforcement
You should begin by engaging a consultant to assess the nature of the soil, as certain categories are more stable than others. This will also help you introduce reinforcement measures, as you look at the foundational strength of the building.
What's the Process?
In a commercial environment like this, a contractor will normally use steel piers which are pushed into the ground using hydraulic equipment. These are known for their reliability and stability and they can penetrate the soil barrier until a stable footing is found. The engineers will apply several different "load tests" to each pier before moving forward, to model the effect that the loaded building will have when installed. So long as all of these tests are within established parameters, the building may be lifted from its current position on to these piers using powerful, hydraulic jacks.
You Can Never Be Too Careful
You should always err on the side of caution whenever you set up a significant operation like this within a new building. You certainly don't want to encounter any cracks, shifting or leaning walls, or doors that will not open or close properly.
So that you can sleep soundly at night, make sure that you employ a consultant from companies like Jeffrey Hills and Associates to help you underpin your new premises as needed.