Manchester Based Piling Expert


The Importance of Planning Permission

There are many different hoops to jump through before the building component of any project can commence. After all, rules and regulations, such as planning permission, are in place in order to ensure that the finished buildings, extensions and even bridges are legal and secure. Here at Rhino Piling, we take planning permission incredibly seriously and, in this blog, we’ve decided to over everything there is to know about its importance. Read on to find out more…

What is planning permission?

According to the Town and Country Planning Act of 1990, planning permission is required in order to carry out the development of land via building, engineering, mining or the making of new materials. Potential projects much be assessed by the relevant local authority and granted ‘planning permission’ in order to commence and these rules and regulations are in place in order to prevent inappropriate and unsafe developments from taking place.

Is planning permission easy to obtain?

The law differs from project to project which means that some developments may not require planning permission because they fall under ‘Permitted Development Rights’. With this said, it is always best to check with the local authorities before commencing a project. An application for planning permission can be carried out online and may cost between £200 and £2000. With this said, the permission lasts for three years once it has been approved.

Are there consequences for building without planning permission?

Since planning permission is in place in order to ensure that a building can be built safely on the proposed land, property owners who choose to carry out a project without planning permission can find themselves in hot water with the law. In fact, work that was completed after an application was rejected is illegal and known as a ‘planning breach’ which means that the council can order those responsible to remove the new building and restore the property to its previous state. A refusal to do so can lead to extensive fines and even prosecution.

There are many different reasons why a request for planning permission can be refused. Here at Rhino Piling, we must take the ground into consideration when carrying out an inspection of a property for a potential project as soft soil can make piles and other groundworks difficult to install. As a result, we place a lot of importance on planning permission. After all, it is a legal requirement for most developments. To find out more information, get in contact with the best piling in Manchester and speak to a member of the Rhino Piling team today!

How we prevent standing water from affecting foundations

Waterlogged ground poses some serious questions for the laying of foundations as concrete pouring requires specific water-cement mixes that adhere to specific ratios in order to produce the best quality and most structurally sound foundations.

The basic mixture of water, cement, sand and large aggregate, as well as a selection of chemicals needs to be mixed accordingly to prevent any weakness from ruining the finished result.

With common fluctuations in weather patterns, rain has become harder to predict and heavier rainfalls can result in ground that cannot handle any more moisture resulting in ground water from developing. With constant rainfall over a period of time, this standing water can be present for a long time. When ground is excavated, the resulting pit becomes the perfect environment for standing water to form as water leeches from the surrounding soil as well as from rainfall. This is why cement needs to be poured as soon as possible once the piling groundwork is completed before oversaturation has the opportunity to take hold.

In an ideal world, all concrete would be poured before excavated ground has the chance to develop standing water, but this is not always possible – whether it be from delays in getting the cement materials to site, or other incidents that delay work from moving ahead smoothly.

Ways to combat standing water

We know the strength of concrete is determined by the ratio mix of water to cement, but once this cement and water is mixed together to produce liquid concrete, further mixing is required to increase the level of water. Ready mixed cement is actually heavier than water, meaning it will displace any standing water when introduced into any space without mixing with the water present.

The hardening of concrete does not come through the drying process but through a chemical reaction meaning that cement can actually harden whilst surrounded by water as long as the mixture was readily mixed using the right amount of water in the first place.

Heavy rainfall may be an obstacle to piling in Manchester but it is definitely one that the team here at Rhinopiling are able to deal with.



Driven Piles: The Environmental Issues to be aware of

Older piling techniques were not as effective as they are in today’s construction industry. These dated systems had many environmental issues including noise pollution and caused aggressive vibration that had some serious repercussions.

These were big issues at the time as piles were driven using high impact hammers. These hammers were not enclosed or soundproofed in any way leading to unbearable noise levels that not only created intolerable levels of disruption to local residents but could also be detrimental to public health.

When planning permission goes ahead for any modern piling solution, environmental issues need to be taken into consideration and systems need to be put into place in order to reduce the noise and vibration pollution that piling causes.

Noise pollution effects

There are more rights in place for residents in terms of local construction to keep them safe and not to interrupt their day to day lives. The piling process may be relevantly short in comparison to other sections of a building’s construction, but it is by far the loudest and most disruptive time.

Modern processes involve noise reducing techniques that take extra care at avoiding excessive noise pollution. Through better advisory processes with the public and better planning methods we also work on prime times to coordinate piling to create the least disturbance as possible.

Vibration pollution

The vibrations caused by piling doesn’t just contribute towards the noise pollution it also puts strain on nearby buildings as the vibrations can often be of sufficient magnitude to damage nearby buildings, not just cause disturbance to residents.

All piling in Cheshire must be evaluated and measured for vibrations to ascertain whether vibration pollution is within acceptable parameters and doesn’t affect buildings within the vicinity.





The role of drilling fluid or slurry

When foundations are drilled into weak soil, especially when they are drilled into waterbeds, borehole stability becomes a much more serious consideration for piling companies. This is due to the fact that boreholes in these types of conditions are considerably weaker than in other soil types.

For these applications contractors require drilling fluid or slurry. These are required for a number of reasons. Firstly, they cool the bore hole’s rising temperatures brought about by friction from the machinery; secondly, they lubricate the hole and the drill bit to prevent overheating; and thirdly, it helps clean the hole. These are the main uses for slurry, but it is also useful in holding the boring hole open, stabilising the hole from collapse, controlling fluid loss and controlling the sub-surface pressure.

The same drilling fluid won’t be successful for every piling application or every soil type. Understanding drilling fluids and slurries is important in increasing the amount of success contractors will have across varying sites.

How does a drilling fluid create borehole stability?

Drilling fluids utilise overlapping platelets to form a barrier between the soil and the drilling fluid which is referred to as filter-cake. We can measure how effective each drilling fluid is via the amount of fluid that is allowed to pass through this barrier. There are also polymer slurries which create a polymer gel membrane barrier between soil and slurry.

Further hole stability is provided via positive pressure applied evenly against the barrier between the drilling fluid and formation. This pressure is obtained by use of a hydrostatic head; the pressure is similar to that of any vacuum-packed product where atmospheric pressure is applied evenly against the wrapper, making the content feel as though they are packed in tightly.

With the proper drilling fluid or slurry in place, boreholes can be made structurally sound for piling to be implemented.

For more information on piling in Manchester, contact the team at Rhinopiling today.




Why you should consider an extension in the new year

If you feel that you need more space at home but can’t afford to move into a bigger property, an extension on your current home could be the best bet.

Although extensions provide the perfect opportunity for families to increase their living space, it can be difficult to decide on the right time to have one installed. After all, the process of building an extension is a major disruption to everyday life. So, the important question is – when is the right time to commit to an extension?

At Rhinopiling we install piling foundations on home extensions throughout the year, so we know first hand that there are advantages and disadvantages to building during each season. And we can say for certainty that although winter builds tend to scare prospective clients, they can actually be a smart idea.

Reasons for a New Year extension

By starting your extension early on in the year it is much more likely to be finished in time for better weather. This means you don’t have to skip out on enjoying the summer months as your extension gets underway.

You may find that you can get a better deal on your extension at the start of the year as companies are quieter after Christmas due to the holiday hangover that most people will be slogging through and the lack of funds due to all the Christmas expenses.

Extending your home has become the best way for homeowners to expand their living space in the least disruptive way. New rooms can become bedrooms for new arrivals, more storage space or simply just give your home a little extra breathing space; extensions can also be a good way to add value to your home with better use of the space surrounding your home that is otherwise wasted.

For whatever reason you want to build an extension on your home, you can get the ball rolling soon by contacting Rhinopiling for more information on piling in Manchester. Extensions are the first step in constructing bespoke extensions that work for you.



What foundations are needed for a garden shed?

We hear a lot of questions regarding piling and foundations for new build homes and extensions, but we also receive a lot of questions regarding smaller structures, most notably, garden sheds.

Sheds come in all different shapes and sizes; whether it’s a small wooden shed for storing a select few garden tools or a larger garden shed made from steel or aluminium and is big enough to fit a ride-on-lawnmower with room to spare. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what type of foundation may be needed in each case, especially when clients are looking to erect a simple timber shed that isn’t extremely heavy.

The reason this question seems to be so popular is that we see a lot of sheds built without foundations that maintain shape for a reasonable time before sagging walls start to collapse quickly and with destructive force. Depending on the size of your shed it is vital you have the correct foundations installed. The correct foundations are determined in a similar way to foundations for larger buildings.

No matter the size of your garden shed, always consult a building inspector to ensure that your plans are up to standard for your area.

Although all sheds need a foundation, the type of foundation differs greatly depending on size. Small sheds won’t need extensive foundations. Instead, they can simply be placed on crushed stone atop either a treated wooden foundation or concrete blocks.

Concrete slab foundations are a wise choice for most sized sheds. These foundations are installed onto a properly levelled section of ground and needs to be level in order to avoid standing water with proper drainage.

Wooden foundations can be used in place of concrete in certain circumstances. For these foundations wooden blocks are placed in evenly spaced rows. These will support the floor of the shed, too.

If you have questions regarding piling in Manchester, contact the team at Rhinopiling today.

Careers and development opportunities with Rhino Piling

The construction industry is currently in the middle of an upswing after a huge lull caused by the recession 10 years ago. Now, millions of new houses are being built all over the country, boosting the needs for piling companies like us.

With a positive rise in new builds, there is also a huge boost in the number of extensions people are building on their current properties in order to create more living space without the upheaval of moving home. This means that now is a great time to get involved in a career with the team at Rhinopiling.

Current professionals are of course encouraged to apply. We are always looking for the best skilled and hard-working individuals looking to join our team here at Rhinopiling to help boost our business. But we are also here to help those looking for a change of career or are looking to get involved in the industry through our training schemes, continuing professional development, work placements and graduate opportunities.

Trainee opportunities

We are always looking for individuals interested in developing a career in engineering, plant maintenance, electrical or commercial oriented roles as well as many more. Successful candidates will be able to take part in many different training schemes, earning a competitive salary alongside their training role as they develop the skills necessary to succeed.

Undergraduate opportunities

For those studying towards a degree in a related course we offer developmental roles for students to gain practical skills to support your education. We offer a competitive salary, course funding and contributions towards exam fees and course literature and paid leave to attend college.

Continuing Development

For those who have completed their qualifications and are looking to further develop their skills in a professional setting we also provide ongoing professional development programmes.

We help provide assistance with study leave, grants and even payments for professional subscriptions.

For more information on developing your skills and creating a career in the industry, contact the team at Rhino Piling in Manchester and Chester right now via the website.

Is it possible to build a house without foundations?

It has become customary for all building work to begin with deep foundations being excavated and installed before any construction takes place above ground. We know that foundations are an essential part of any building if we want it to stay upright for any extended period of time.

Looking back through history to the dawn of modern buildings, it was very clear that the lack of adequate foundations meant that homes were very unstable and were destined not to last long. Unstable homes lacking foundations were also the cause for a high rate of deaths due to collapses.

What do foundations do?

Buildings are able to support the downward force they project onto the ground without foundations, but unfortunately it cannot accommodate the sideways motion a building experiences. Along with the constantly fluctuating shape of the ground underneath due to expansion and contraction caused by temperature and weather changes, walls will soon start to fall into newly created gaps.

Foundations bypass the movement of the soft ground the building is built on by reaching down to more stable ground deep in the earth. This base rock is strong enough to support the weight of the building without any movement occurring, even with seasonal changes.

Are there any buildings without foundations?

Foundations are seen as the norm when it comes to any construction these days, but there are times when building designers have bypassed the need for foundations by finding alternate methods for supporting their buildings. Salisbury Cathedral is one well-known, substantial building constructed without adequate foundations. Salisbury Cathedral was built on marshy ground and uses a foundation positioned at just four feet to support its massive spire. This is accomplished by building on a raft within the soft ground; a technique which is able to provide enough support to large weights but is very difficult to install successfully.

For piling in Cheshire contact the team at Rhinopiling today for more information.



Building an extension in winter

Obviously, summer is the most ideal time to have an extension built on your house; the long daylight hours, warmer temperatures and minimal rainfall provides much better conditions for building work, especially when it comes to piling foundations. Not to mention, extensions generally involve taking out large sections of your home’s outer wall, leaving you vulnerable to the elements and making it very difficult to heat your home properly.

Winter construction does throw up some obstacles, but with the right know-how the work doesn’t need to be put on hold; its all about mitigating the issues that winter weather brings.

In this blog we will take a look at some of the most common problems building an extension in winter causes and run through the ways in which the team at Rhinopiling tackle those obstacles.

  1. Freezing Temperatures

Cold snaps can set in at unpredictable times. Rather than close up shop and wait for weather to warm back up again, its important that certain jobs, like brickwork, for example, is finished as the water content in mortar can freeze and prevent it mixing through the cement. As frozen water expands it can cause cracking to brickwork which can mean an area needs to be demolished and rebuilt.

To prevent this disruption in the process we must try and anticipate the best times of the year to begin projects. As we cannot always be completely able to say when weather may take a turn for the worst we have to go by the seasons. We try to avoid starting a project that will mean important parts of the piling process won’t be completed before winter is here.

  1. Shorter Days

With limited daylight hours to work with, its inevitable that for jobs to be completed on time, teams will have to work in the dark at some point. When the sun goes down it isn’t just light that we have to deal with; as the sun falls, the temperature also drops. This is why we will install floodlighting and heating to ensure a full day’s work can be completed without having to be cut short.

  1. Security

Unfortunately for teams working on small sites, theft is something we have to be wary of. With scrap metal, expensive building materials and high-value tools on every building site, they become a target for thieves looking for an easy target. Large construction sites can afford a full-time security, but smaller sites need to be extra vigilant.

Increased darkness around winter means that it is easier for thieves to walk away with expensive equipment without being seen. For this reason, the site manager needs to enforce extra security and awareness by staggering deliveries so nothing is left unattended, different contractors are also staggered when visiting site so there aren’t big groups of people entering and exiting all at once and double checking that all high-value items are securely packed away each day.

Rhinopiling provides piling in Manchester and the surrounding areas. For more information or for a no-obligation consultation, contact the team today.



How bridge piling is installed

Piling for a residential or commercial building is not without its obstacles. But what happens when the obstacle you are facing is building a huge bridge over a watercourse? Placing piles into solid ground is a challenge. So how do companies find a way around the problem of installing piling foundations underwater into the soft silt of a riverbed or lake?

Construction of a bridge over a body of water has been a slowly evolving area of construction that has had engineers scratching their heads for generations. Without stable foundations, a bridge can soon become a very dangerous place to be.

But over the years, engineers have found new ways of installing piling for bridge systems that is safer, more economical for construction companies and quicker than ever before. Constructing over water has always had its own unique challenges; for example, waterbeds have a tendency to shift and change quickly, and increased rainfall can cause watercourses to become much stronger than usual. These are all key aspects that have to be taken into consideration, but the biggest obstacle of all is figuring out a way to install the piles underwater in the first place.

Types of underwater foundation construction

  1. Battered Piles

This approach to piling is generally reserved for small bridges built over shallow water. Before the piles are driven they are constructed to the correct size before being placed. Instead of a single beam, battered piles use numerous beams twisted together. When this is driven into the soft mud they are able to distribute weight in several directions.

  1. Cofferdam

A cofferdam is a temporary structure that is as watertight as possible. When lowered and drained, they create a dry area for construction to take place. Some cofferdams will not be completely watertight but restrict waterflow enough so that any water that does enter the area can be pumped out safely. The dams themselves are constructed of numbers of sheet metal fitted together.

  1. Slurry Drilling

The soil needing to be drilled into will be extremely weak due to the saturation of water. Therefore, drilling will, more often than not, result in the hole caving in before the piles can be set. To counteract this, a mixture of mud is poured on top before drilling commences.

For piling in Chester, contact the team at Rhinopiling now.