Engineers & Foundation Repair

Tennyson Foundation Repair has built many relationships with the engineers within the Arizona engineering community. We know the value of an experienced engineer when it comes to the many possible causes of foundation problems and also the many different foundation repair solutions.

There are 4 main engineering disciplines which may be involved in the repair of an existing foundation.

Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.

Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty discipline within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right. In the US, most practicing structural engineers are currently licensed as civil engineers.

A structural engineer deals with analyzing a particular structural system. A structural system may vary from simple systems, like beams, columns, slabs, etc., to more complex systems, like frames, bridges, piers, foundations, retaining walls, etc. The objective behind structural analysis is to estimate or find resultant stresses, or forces so that these elements can be designed to withstand the load that comes over it.

Structural engineering is also used to perform inspections of homes that are being sold, or when a possible foundation problem has been discovered. A structural engineer may be involved when a problem has been identified by some other party, such as a home inspector, a home buyer, or just for precautionary reasons.

Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, mining, petroleum, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground. Geotechnical engineering uses principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials; determine the relevant physical/mechanical and chemical properties of these materials; evaluate stability of natural slopes and man-made soil deposits; assess risks posed by site conditions; design earthworks and structure foundations; and monitor site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction

A building’s foundation transmits loads from buildings and other structures to the earth. Geotechnical engineers design foundations based on the load characteristics of the structure and the properties of the soils and/or bedrock at the site.

In general, geotechnical engineers: 1) Estimate the magnitude and location of the loads to be supported; 2) Develop an investigation plan to explore the subsurface; 3) Determine necessary soil parameters through field and lab testing (e.g., consolidation test, triaxial shear test, vane shear test, standard penetration test); 4) Design the foundation in the safest and most economical manner.The primary considerations for foundation support are bearing capacity, settlement, and ground movement beneath the foundations.

Bearing capacity is the ability of the site soils to support the loads imposed by buildings or structures. Settlement occurs under all foundations in all soil conditions, though lightly loaded structures or rock sites may experience negligible settlements. For heavier structures or softer sites, both overall settlement relative to unbuilt areas or neighboring buildings, and differential settlement under a single structure, can be a concern. Of particular concern is settlement which occurs over time, as immediate settlement can usually be compensated for during construction. Ground movement beneath a structure’s foundations can occur due to collapsible soils, shrinkage or swell of expansive soils due to climatic changes, frost expansion of soil, slope instability, or other causes.

All these factors must be considered during design of and the inspection of foundations.

A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using physics, chemistry and biology as well as other sciences. Geologists are engaged in exploration for mining companies in search of metals, oils, and other Earth resources. They are also in the forefront of natural hazards and disasters warning and mitigation, studying earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, weather storms, and the like; their studies are used to warn the general public of the occurrence of these events.

Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.

Sometimes a Hydrologist may also be called upon to be added to the engineering team.

Hydrologists apply scientific knowledge and mathematical principles to solve water-related problems in society: problems of quantity, quality and availability. They may be concerned with finding water supplies for cities or irrigated farms, or controlling river flooding or soil erosion.

Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability. A practitioner of hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of earth or environmental science, physical geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering.

Tennyson Foundation Repair offers a FREE Visual Inspection for "homeowners" within the Phoenix metro area.

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