Re: Re: Architect Registration

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Teak, you have a way with words but trust me this is my area…….
I was referring to general foundations were as you seem to be referring passive houses only. Now all those firms you mentioned do not design foundations, they get structural engineers to do it for them, I know because I did the design for an independent engineer, who was hired by them, I won’t mention the firm’s name.
Foundations are not governed to a large extent by what is sitting on them, they are primarily governed by what they are sitting on. Most foundation failures occur due to variations in the soil type. In other words, you can have fantastic ground, but if it varies from fantastic to great within the footprint, well then you will have differential movement. What constitutes failure is anything that costs your client money to rectify. Those companies will take zero responsibility for any failure of any structural element, I have a legal case on right now as I type with one. They will tell you that the polystyrene can resist 120kn/sqm, it can of course in a controlled lab, however there are many more problems at play here and if only the cases I am involved with got media attention, you would all know about them and be better off for it.
You cannot design foundations by taking plans off a shelf and using prefabricated panels, otherwise we would all have post tensioned foundations and they would only need to be a few inches thick due to the economy of post tensioned units.
Look, the only person you can take legal action against for poor foundations is a structural engineer, you cannot sue your architect, builder, manufacturer… unless their specific qualified involvement was flawed, I am in the courts and as one Judge put it , you cannot expect to sue your solicitor for poor medical advice, the onus is upon you to seek out the correct practitioner.
Why would you pay an individual to design your foundations, which he doesn’t know how to do in the first place, he will oversize them because he is unsure, they could still fail because it was oversized in areas of redundancy and then you cannot sue him for professional incompetence anyway, you have to sue him for fraud, his professional indemnity company won’t cover it because he was not covered to do it in the first place. I mean this story is on continuous replay in our courts.
And listen all those ring beams with the insulated bedding are hilarious, you can put all the steel you want in a foundation, it is not going to prevent it from sinking it is just going to prevent the concrete from breaking which isn’t much use when half of your house is 2 inches lower than the other half . (RC is semi flexible and not rigid like people think)
I design bespoke foundations for all structures, they are fit for purpose (most important), they are economic and can be adapted to suit insulation systems and if it goes wrong ………. My PI will cough up.

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