What could possibly go wrong ...
With all construction projects there will be an element of risk, but with a proper team of professionals advising the parties, the risks should be virtually eliminated.
Of course a team of professionals costs the client dearly and quite often corners are cut to reduce project costs, or the client is unaware of the risks. Most designers are more than competent and their designs and associated calculations can be checked and double checked and are rarely wrong. However it is often the temporary works aspects that cause the problems with the more complex structural schemes.
Many engineering practices will not design temporary works, and so contractors are asked to deal with this aspect. It is this aspect of many projects that gives rise to the potentially catastrophic problems of structural damage and even building collapse.
Well supported excavations rarely fail and here contiguous piling has been introduced around a site perimeter, a floor slab cast, which additionally braces the piles, and then retainment and props installed.
When such carefully designed precautions and temporary works are ignored collapse can occur!
Even more simple property refurbishment and extension projects have led to major damage.
Properly designed temporary works approved by an engineer and executed by a competent contractor rarely cause a problem.
In this image the needles are well installed to support the rear main wall as the new beam is inserted before the masonry beneath is removed.
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