Excavation Support Failure


During the construction of a 5m deep excavation at a residential site within clays & shales, the excavation failed with resultant serious safety and stability concerns for the adjoining three-storey home unit building.  As a consequence, SCE was engaged by the project insurer to advise on the most probable cause of the failure and potential liability of the various parties.

Important factors to emerge during the course of the SCE investigations were the inappropriate engineering design of the excavation support system and anchors that were far too short to support the excavation.  The site issues were also complicated by a water pipe and structural weakening of the piles by the way that the construction was undertaken.

As a result of SCE's rapid response to the insurer's request, it was then possible for the excavation to be made safe and building works recommenced in a short time frame.