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Building Near Trees

The combination of expandable soils and trees presents a danger to structures that requires special consideration. Trees take moisture from the ground and this can cause significant volume changes resulting in ground movement. 

The interaction between trees, soil and buildings is inherently complex as expandable soils are subject to changes in volume as the moisture content is altered. Moisture contents vary seasonally and and are influenced by a number of factors including the effects of tree roots. 

Over time, ground heave can affect traditional strip foundations and eventually damage the supported structure. In order to minimize this risk, piled foundations should be designed to accommodate the movement or be taken to a depth where the likelihood of damaging movement is low. [1]


When considering what type of piling is required, the condition of the soil and the proximity of trees must all be considered. Our in house engineers are experienced with the design of structures adjacent to trees and have an in-depth understanding of the methods used to accommodate for ground heave in and around the London area.

Our piled raft foundations, for example, can be designed with a cellular void former to the underside in order to suspend the foundation from the ground. This transfers the loads to the piles beneath, which reduces the pressure exerted on the foundation caused by the expansion of clay soils.


We regularly carry out works that take place close trees and our piling operatives have over 30 years experience dealing with the piling and foundation methods required. If you would like to request a quote, or find out more about piling for your project, please call us now on 07751 661682 to speak to a member of our team or use the contact form below.

[1] NHBC Standards Chapter 4 Foundations April 2010



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