Residential House – Expansive Soil Damage Remediation

Fraser Thomas was engaged to investigate the cause of significant cracking in walls, gaps between floor joints, and stretching of the roof structure in the client’s house.

After carrying out geotechnical investigations, floor level surveys, and structural inspections, Fraser Thomas engineers determined that the damage was a result of ground movement caused by the seasonal shrinking and swelling of expansive clay soils.

It was decided that the most cost and time effective solution would be to carry out remedial work on the house to address the symptoms rather than the cause, i.e. provide the house structure with the ability to move without sustaining damage, instead of intensive foundation strengthening that would prevent the movement.

The remedial work involved creating a movement expansion joint across the middle of the house as a pivot point, and then to provide adequate bracing along both sides of the expansion joint.

In order to create as little impact on the house as possible, in regard to aesthetics and function, remedial bracing and expansion brackets utilised slim profiles that could either be hidden within walls, or could potentially become features themselves.

Expertise provided:

  • Geotechnical
  • Structural

Project cycle:

  • Forensic investigations
  • Preliminary and detailed design
  • Construction observation