Konstantin Ashkinadze, P.Eng.
("Konstantin The Engineer")
Since 2003, we have been involved in the design of screw and push pile underpinning and tieback systems for residential and commercial construction.
Underpinning is a powerful technology that allows a reliable and practical remedy for such common foundation problems as settlement, differential settlement, and the related cracking. However, to be effective, this system must be properly designed and installed; otherwise, it may damage the foundation further rather than repair it.
Some of the common misconceptions about underpinning are discussed in the Frequently Asked Questions (See items "What to expect and what not to expect from the engineer's inspection" and "Does your company provide warranty to the repairs you engineer and certify?"). See also our information bulletins under the Publications tab. The anchors used in underpinning projects are typically proprietary and are engineered by their supplier for the loads provided by the Engineer of Record. Our role in the process is as follows:
- Perform the initial evaluation and identify that the problem is indeed related to settlement and not something else;
- Calculate the loads on the walls and the proposed anchors;
- Perform the "foundation" side of engineering, assuring its strength after underpinning. This usually takes the form of an engineered design drawing package;
- Witness the installation and assure the design specifications are followed;
- Review and approve the contractor's installation records for the anchors;
- Provide the official compliance certification.
Occasionally, however, we may act as designers of the anchors themselves, at the request of the installing company or the client directly, K-The-Eng is skilled and has experience in the design of all types of underpinning and tieback anchors presently on the market.