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Solution to Clay Heave

Anvil Foundations have provided the piling and foundations for a four bedroom new build house in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The development is on the site of an older house which has been raised to the ground to make way for a modern design.

The potential for “Clay Heave” was the challenge on this project. This is a term given to the increase in moisture content and can be caused by re-hydration of desiccated soil, climate, water courses, vegetation, tree roots or the removal of overburden resulting in volume increase. The movement in the ground can severely damage buildings and in some cases destroy them.

These ground conditions dictated that the best option would be to use steel cased driven piles that are shorter and wider, ideal for protection against tree routes.  Once in place anti clay heave material was used around the beam on top of the piles.

The alternative would have been to use longer heavy load piles, which need deeper holes. This would have meant drilling through the clay and into the damp chalk beneath which would have been like running a hot knife through butter leaving a huge hole to fill making things more expensive for the client.

Anvil Foundations worked on this project with MA Young Construction (main Contractor) and Quantity Surveyor Chris Bauer.

Malcolm Young Managing Director said, “We rely on Anvil Foundations for 90% of our projects because we always get a quality and reliable service at competitive prices. We have got to know Nigel MacLean and his team very well over the 18 years we have worked together and hope that this continues.”


Customer Comments

"I just wanted to say a massive thank you to yourself and Mark + his team. From start to finish your service has been of a high level and professional. The price was competitive and your phone manner was personal but professional. A special mention to Mark who was in contact through the installation, being a manager myself i know its hard to come by good people within your work force who you know are going to do the job right and speak with people in the correct manner. Mark was great from start to finish, ringing up informing me the arrival time has changed to solving problems on site and being understanding with my Mrs who was the onsite for the duration but putting it bluntly didn't have a clue about the build. Having not met Mark in person, i believe the impression he made on myself and my Mrs was above and beyond what we expected. You should be proud to have someone like Mark in your work force. I wish you all the best in the future."- Aaron & Carly

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