How to prepare for drainage construction

Drainage construction has traditionally been quite disruptive. In the past, to install new sewers and water mains, you had to excavate the entire length of the pipeline, lay the pipework itself, and fill in the trench.

While this is still sometimes necessary, in most cases trenchless drainage construction is now a valid alternative, with a lot less disruption to the land, and often a lot less expense as a result.


What is trenchless drain construction?

As the name suggests, trenchless drain construction allows new drains and other pipelines to be installed without the need to dig an open trench.

Instead of excavating the route of the pipeline from surface level above, directional drilling equipment is used that can steer along the route underground, drilling horizontally from point A to point B, without breaking the surface at any other point.

This even enables pipes to be laid beneath roads or under riverbeds, where it would previously have been very difficult, if not impossible to gain suitable access to excavate using open-cut methods.


How to prepare for trenchless drainage construction

Because of the minimal disruption caused by trenchless construction, there’s also relatively little preparatory work required, and we can help you to understand what needs doing on your site.

For example, if you have records of existing pipework along the planned route, or you know other utilities are present, this is useful to know – but again, we can survey for all these things too.


Types of trenchless technology

It’s important to know what you want to achieve. Do you want a stronger pipe, a wider or narrower diameter, or are you installing a completely new drain by drilling through solid earth?

Depending on the intended outcome, it may be necessary to use different technology:

  • Cured-in-place pipe for minor repairs
  • Pipe bursting to increase diameter
  • Directional drilling for brand new pipelines

We may recommend open-cut drainage installation in some locations too, especially if there will be a gutter or grating installed directly over the pipe at surface level.


Find out more

If you would like to know more about trenchless technology or conventional open-cut drainage installation, please contact us today on 0151 2360707 and we’ll be happy to help with any enquiries.

We can guide you through the complete process from start to finish, so if you’re really not sure what you need, you can put your faith in us to recommend the best solution – either open-cut or trenchless – based on a survey of your specific premises.

The importance of soil compaction testing

Soil compaction testing is a way to measure how much a quantity of soil can be compressed into a smaller space.

Compaction is a natural process in which the solid part of soil settles into the air spaces in between, but it depends on several factors, such as the forces exerted on the soil.

Over time, soil compaction leads to a denser material – you can see this easily when you water a freshly potted plant and the soil level in the pot drops significantly.

Because of the changes in volume, strength and permeability, soil compaction testing is an important process that should not be neglected during any engineering or construction work.


What are the risks of soil compaction?

Loose soil can compact significantly, especially when placed under substantial pressure from above, or after becoming waterlogged and then drying out.

This can cause the level of the land to drop, leading to subsidence and other issues. This is not only a risk to buildings, but can also lead to other surfaces becoming uneven, such as driveways, pavements and car parks.

In the immediate term, there is also a risk to vehicles and machinery attempting to move over loose soil during construction work, and potentially sinking into the ground as it compacts.


What are the benefits of soil compaction?

Compacted soil is more solid and less porous. This can have benefits in many applications, making a firmer surface to build on and reducing the risk of subsidence in the future.

For large engineering works, compacted soil allows firm foundations, especially on very large structures like dams, bridges and man-made embankments.

However, very compacted soil can have implications for drainage as it is less porous, as well as aesthetic landscaping like lawns, flowerbeds and shrubberies, as plants may find it more difficult to put down roots.


How to test soil compaction

There is complex science behind soil compaction, as there’s a ‘goldilocks’ level of water content that maximises the compressibility of the earth – enough to lubricate the dry particles, but not enough to resist them packing together.

Soil compaction testing typically involves taking a sample of earth and adding water to it, then measuring the weight of soil that can be compacted into a fixed volume at that level of moisture content.

The process is repeated several times with different amounts of water, and the results plotted to find the optimum moisture level for the soil.

If you would like to know more or you have a site where you need soil compaction testing to be carried out, contact hebs Group today on 0151 2360707 and we will be happy to help.

Engineering and construction trends in the hospitality industry 2021

The past year has been challenging for many sectors, but hospitality was especially hard hit by COVID-19 and as we move towards the main summer months of 2021, many venues are only just starting to open back up with limited capacity.

Engineering and construction have also had to adapt to new methods of working, with a focus on reducing the number of employees in close proximity and avoiding enclosed areas as much as possible throughout the pandemic.

However, there are signs of optimism with vaccinations rolling out and infection rates falling. As the UK moves towards herd immunity, the economy is already showing signs of bouncing back strong, with high demand for hospitality venues that are able to operate.


Domestic demand

We’re looking at another summer of staycations, this time due to travel restrictions rather than economic issues – and that means there is potentially more money to be made than during previous staycation seasons.

Hoteliers should look to create self-contained units wherever possible, with holidaymakers able to stay within their bubble, rather than needing to access shared bathrooms, toilets and other facilities.

Ventilation is also important as we look to live with the novel Coronavirus long-term, so HVAC systems should be inspected, improved and updated where necessary to keep clean air circulating.


International tourism

The medium-term future of international tourism into the UK is unclear, as countries have yet to decide on their respective COVID passport rules, and free movement of tourists is far from assured during the coming years.

As international travel resumes, hospitality operators ranging from hoteliers to restaurateurs can target the upper end of the market with well-appointed premises that offer a taste of luxury that many travellers will be craving after 12 months spent at home.

It may also be wise for hotels and guest houses located near airports to ready themselves for any tourists who need somewhere to quarantine – including those who have to extend their stay at short notice.


Casual hospitality

The casual hospitality sector, including pubs and restaurants, is starting to see brighter times ahead, with outdoor service already open to the public once again.

Early indications are that demand will be high from consumers who have spent a year sat at home – and who already associate emergence from lockdown with 2020’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Although indoor service will soon also be possible, many customers may continue to prefer the natural ventilation of an outdoor table, so venues should continue to invest in outdoor heating as well as indoor HVAC systems, to optimise both areas for COVID-secure service.

Whatever type of hospitality establishment you operate, hebs Group are here to help with the recovery – please get in touch without delay if you’d like to make an enquiry by calling 0151 2360707.

Commercial property maintenance checklist

Commercial property maintenance is an ongoing task – you never know when you’ll discover a blocked drain or burst pipe. But with a sensible schedule and pre-emptive action, you can avoid expensive downtime and keep the costs of repair work to a minimum.

In order to do this, it’s good practice to have a commercial property maintenance checklist in place. That can include a list of the various parts of your premises that you need to inspect, as well as how often to inspect them.

Some elements need more frequent inspection than others, and you should also be prepared for extra ad hoc inspections after adverse weather, or if you notice signs of damage such as a leak or missing roof tiles.


What goes on a commercial property maintenance checklist?

A commercial property maintenance checklist can be divided into several sections, to group together common issues and elements that can be inspected at the same time.

Some examples of groups you might want to include on your checklist are:

  • Building Fabric
  • Drainage and Pipework
  • HVAC Equipment
  • Roofing (inc. Guttering)
  • Utilities (Gas/Electric/Water)

There’s some crossover here – a blocked gutter can be classed as a roofing issue and a drainage issue – so place each issue where it makes the most sense for your own needs.


How often to check commercial premises

Some commercial premises maintenance can be continuous – for example, you might make it part of your daily routine to look up at the roof for signs of damage, or to make sure your drains are free-flowing.

As mentioned above, you should also be ready to check for damage following extreme weather, especially in winter when it’s likely there will be heavy rain and sub-zero temperatures (although damage should be repaired as soon as possible at any time of year).

For planned maintenance, decide whether to inspect fixtures and fittings monthly, quarterly or annually. There’s no fixed rules on this – you can inspect some elements more often than others, and more frequently in winter, if you want.


Call in the experts

If you’ve found damage that needs to be repaired, or you’d like to leave the inspection itself to the experts, call hebs Group on 0151 2360707 and we can arrange a visit by our engineers.

We are happy to arrange scheduled inspections and maintenance for all your building fabric, HVAC, utilities and drainage, plus any other fixtures and fittings you’d like to include.