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Structural & Civil Engineering in Swindon

Structural Beam Calculations, Soakaway Designs to BRE 365, Dropped Kerb Applications

Applications for Wessex Water Approval to Build Over a Sewer

Structural Engineering Calculations Swindon

Western Building Consultants Employ a number of Chartered Building Engineers and Architectural Technologists, if you are looking for basic structural structural engineering or Civil solutions in Swindon then Western Building Consultants can help. Our practice contains Fellow and Chartered members of the chartered institute of Building Engineers.


Structural Beam Design

We can provide structural calculations for steel, timber and glu-lam beams. Usually where a simple opening is required between two rooms or to a domestic extension. The trend at the moment is to remodel your home or commercial premises usually to an open plan layout. To to do this often you will require calculations to justify the removal of walls and replacement with a structural member. We provide a simple cost effective service, including a site visit with a price per beam costing. This allows you to easily budget the costs before our visit please contact the office on 01225 789307 to receive our full T&C’s and book in a visit.


Dropped kerb Applications & Highways Planning Conditions

We provide drawings and applications for basic Civil Engineering works such as dropped kerb applications and planning highways conditions such as to alter access etc. New developments and many householders often seek to instal a new vehicle access from the public highway. This usually involves installing lower kerbstones with the pavement reconstructed at a new gradient. Drop kerb applications include both the physical lowering of the kerb and  permission to allow a vehicle to cross the public footway which otherwise an offence under common law. As the applicant the cost of applying and construction of the dropped kerb is usually paid for by you.


Why do I need to apply for a dropped kerb?

Because you do not own the pavement outside of your house and do not have the right to drive over it, additional dropped kerbs can be seen as increasing highway safety risks.  Only a fully designed proposal for a new access should be put forward as it is estimated around 60% of all dropped kerb applications are rejected. Many of these are rejected because a client has chosen to make the application themselves without the services of an engineering consultant.


Soakaway Calculations to BRE 365, drainage strategy & Trial Pit Excavations

Percolation Tests/Soakaway Tests determine whether the ground is suitable for soakaways and sceptic tanks and are becoming increasingly common in planning application conditions. Western Building Consultants can provide an excavation and trial pit service to determine if using the natural strata can work to effectively drain the development.


How do Soakaways work?

Soakaways work by storing the immediate surface water run-off allowing natural dissipation and attenuation. Surface water has been historically disposed of through public sewers or watercourses. Due to flooding issues the government and local authorities such as BANES have discounted the traditional piped approach to draining sites and are replacing them with SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems).


How do you calculate if the Soakaway will work?

To work out a soakaways size and suitability we need to carry out an onsite percolation tests. A trial pit is excavated to represent the soakaway and the time taken for the water level to fall from 75% to 25% repeatedly is used to calculate the Soil Infiltration Rate (m/sec). Utilising this approach we are then able to carryout an offsite Soakaway calculation demonstrating the type of Soakaway and size requirements.

If your development needs a soakawy design or any other of our engineering services please get in contact with our Swindon office on 01225 789307 or email [email protected]


Applications to Wessex Water or other local Water Authorities to build over/near sewers

If you are carrying out an extension or new build property in Swindon and wish to build over a sewer, you need to get a build over agreement. You may also require an application if you are planning to build footing near to an existing sewer.  Wessex Water will not always allow you to build over a sewer so it is important that you employ a consultant such as Western Building Consultants to give you the best chance of engineering a solution that will be acceptable to your local water authority.

Whether you need an agreement to build near a sewer depends on a number of issues, such as depth of the sewer, the diameter/type of sewer and the number of properties it serves. It can sometimes be prudent to instruct us to carry out a Wessex consultation or instruct a cctv survey of the drainage system prior to designing the project as it might not be possible to design an extension or house over the existing pipework.

As sewers are frequently located running along the back of houses, build over agreements are usually needed for extensions. In fact we estimated that when the sewers for adoption regulations were introduced 90% of our householder projects required consent.

Sometimes it is not possible to build over a sewer and the drainage may need to be altered (called a sewer diversion).  Sewer diversions are generally quite expensive and have to be carried out by licensed contractors. The water authority will generally require the sewer to be tested on completion and a bond held for a period of time to rectify any issues with the new drain. Western Building Consultants have negotiated several of these types of diversion and produced the drainage drawings to accompany the request for diversion. These have to be designed to an adoptable standard and it is important that a competent engineer is appointed to specify them.

If you need help with any of the aforementioned services please contact Western Building Consultants on 01225 789307 or Email [email protected]

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