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DIG 352 Underpinning

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More than £1000 million worth of substance claims involving cracking and distortion in homes, were submitted to UK insurance firms during the period 1989-1991. Much of the damage arose from foundation movement caused by problems such as subsidence and heave of the ground, and landslip. Much of the money was spent on underpinning the foundations of houses and blocks of flats. Underpinning usually involves deepening foundations; it may sometimes involve providing a new, different form of foundation. Building Research Establishment commissioned a nation-wide survey of underpinning. The findings of this survey and technical issues concerning underpinning are presented in a BRE Report. Foundation movement and remedial underpinning in low-rise buildings. This Digest presents a more general discussion and is intended to give background information on the causes of foundation movement, and when and why underpinning may be necessary.

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BRE is a building science centre that generates new knowledge through research. This is used to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. BRE helps its government and private sector clients meet the significant environmental, social and economic challenges they face in delivering homes, buildings and communities. BRE is owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The Trust uses the profits made by the BRE companies to fund research and education that advances knowledge of the built environment.

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