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The In and Out Job, Slabs Relevelled Overnight

(June 25, 2020)

Interview with our Commercial Manager for the North, Norman Saint.

Tell us about yourself and your role at Geobear.

I have worked with Geobear for over 14 years. I began my career here as an Electrician, then moved into a Technician role with the Operations team. I enjoyed my time on the trucks, it gave me valuable experience for my current role as an Area Manager. 

As a Commercial Area Manager for the North UK, I liaise with a variety of clients on a daily basis. This may be Engineers, Property Owners, Architects, Project Managers, etc, all with the aim of fixing a subsidence/settlement issue and providing them with a guaranteed solution.

What is a common problem that Commercial property owners face?

Trips and hazards are a major issue for Commercial properties. A dip in the slab can result in increased maintenance of Forklift Trucks. This can cause further problems and can start affecting profit margins, when you consider the increased costs in repairs. 

Areas of damage can also start to impact operations. The business has the health & safety of their employees to think about.  It may mean areas damaged by settlement have to be cordoned for regular maintenance.

In recent years I have also seen an increase in customers looking to expand their operations, without moving premises. Mezzanine floors allow companies to do this, but what customers can sometimes find is that the soil is not adequate to withstand the additional loads without any work being carried out. This is where Geobear comes in, we can offer a solution, whereby we work with the customer’s engineer to design a solution to improve the ground to withstand the additional load of the mezzanine floor. 

Can Geobear assist with the cause of the problem? 

Yes. We always complete a site visit, to visually inspect the area. From this, we can determine if further investigation is required.  We have a list of approved contractors who can complete soil investigations and drain surveys and we also have our own in house technical and engineering team, so we can complete Dynamic Probe Testing of the soils as well. 

What solutions can Geobear offer Commercial Clients?

We are an alternative solution to traditional ground engineering schemes. We inject a geopolymer into the fill beneath floor slabs, via a 12-16mm diameter hole. The injections follow a grid pattern across the affected area. 

Should soil investigations reveal there are problems at depth, we can target these areas separately using our ground improvement solution. This targets those soils below the foundations of the building. 

How long will the Geobear process take?

We can usually be in and out, in no time at all. What I mean by this, is that work can be completed in as little as 1 day. We can treat up to around 200m2 in 1 day. As a direct comparison to alternative schemes, we are typically 5 times faster.

Is there much disruption with Geobear work? 

In most cases, the client can keep their asset in operation throughout our works. This is appealing to our customers because it means little downtime, if any.

Let’s discuss the problem with a sinking slab in more detail. Geobear can offer a re-levelling solution, how accurate can this be?

For projects such as warehouse floor slabs, we regularly work to FM2 standards or greater. 

Are there any limitations of the Geobear solution?

Our procedures can be less effective if the floor slab is severely damaged, due to the highly expansive nature of our geopolymer there is a risk of material migration and bulging of the area, where the slab is damaged. This is a rare occurrence as the client typically identifies an issue and calls us in before there is a major structural failure of the slab.

Are there any environmental impacts?

There are no environmental impacts from our polymerised resins. We regularly complete work on properties that are around water sources, such as rivers, canals, and reservoirs, and have worked on projects in co-operation with English Heritage, Natural England, and Environmental Agency. 

Our process has an extremely low carbon footprint compared with other more traditional methods, like slab replacement or traditional piling too. 

Lastly, it is always good to see examples of theory in practice. Do you have any examples of previous work were you feel Geobear offered an exceptional service. 

Our website has some great examples of a number of commercial projects we have completed. You can view these here https://www.geobear.co.uk/case-studies/commercial/


Connect with Norman on Linkedin here,


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We deliver projects on any sort of building or structure – from conservatory extension problems to 80,000m2 warehouses and road infrastructure. In most cases we will have the best solution, so get in touch today.

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