Ground Quality And Construction

Almost all construction works require construction contractors to process the soil to help with the foundation. The type, size, and depth of the foundation would also determine the type of construction to be erected on the foundation. This processing of the earth, or earthwork is more important to the success of the overall construction project than any other developmental stage of the construction.

Building a major construction usually involves removing and moving large amounts of ground materials from the underground from the construction site to create solid foundations and other earthworks that can withstand all the several performance demands of the new construction project.

In a nutshell, any major construction project, from infrastructure to buildings begins with the construction of a strong foundation to support the building. Constructing a strong foundation or any other earthwork requires digging and removing a substantial part of the underground.

Nevertheless, some things are found underground that could disrupt the construction process. These include tree roots, large stones/rock, water pipes, sewage pipes, electricity pipes, gas pipe and even those unwanted pests like termites or spider nests. To help with the construction process it is necessary that you organise a pest control and treatment service so unwanted dangerous species do not get in your way.

Tree roots are natural things that are found underground that can disrupt any construction project.  Tree roots and underground earthworks, including foundation, are often incompatible. Any attempt to build a construction where there are lots of trees can pose a series of challenges to the construction.

This is because tree roots can largely affect the moisture levels in the soil, with soil swelling/heave, structure shrinkage and cracking being some of the most common risks. The presence of tree roots can end up causing foundations and other earthworks to shift and crack if not harm the entire construction structures. One such example is the invasion of tree roots in drains, a prominent problem faced by plumbers worldwide. Trees that stand very close to the earthwork ae not the only one with potential for serious damages. Even trees that are as far as 30m away from the construction site can pull moisture from the soil and subsequently lead to a host of problems. 

If possible the tree may be removed before construction but sometimes due to environmental concern, the tree must not be removed. Also, be on aware of termites in the trees and in the vicinity of your build, as they will cause problems. Just in case it is best to organise a termite pest control treatment to eradicate future problems with termites eating your wood foundations.

However, when it is evident that the earthwork would subsequently be affected by the tree root, a fairly deep trench could be employed. The trench should be filled with concrete but a compressible material must be used on both sides of the external trenches to counteract any swelling in the ground.

Ground Quality And Construction

Large stones and rocks found underground can also disrupt a construction. However, these obstructions can be broken and removed to allow for work progress, though breaking or removing them may slow down the work process.

Water pipes can also disrupt construction. These are water pipes installed underground to serve the community. The water pipes can either be rechanneled to give way for the construction or made to pass through the soil or the concrete foundation. Though in this case, the already installed water pipe must be carefully handled to prevent damages to them. This fragility of the pipes is exactly the reason why plumbers opt for pipe relining, instead of manually tempering them, when doing plumbing maintenance.

Similar to the water pipes, sewage pipes can also disrupt construction. But unlike the water pipes, sewage pipes are more difficult to handle because they must not be trapped within the concrete but allowed to move freely. Hence the sewage pipes must either be rechanneled in such a way that they are unaffected or made to go much below the top of the foundation concrete.

Finally, before handling electricity, gas, water, or sewage pipes, it is important to consult buildings and warranty inspectors for their approval to excavated the underground before any construction. Understanding the types of soil that you are building on is also very important.

Choosing Soil Before Construction

Choosing construction sites with the best soil is very important in any building project. This is because all constructions are connected to the soil, be it a small apartment, tower, bridge, condo, etc. All constructions and buildings are erected on soil and most times with soil.

Constructions and buildings must be erected on strong and solid soils, otherwise, the danger is looming. However, soils differ in strength. While some soils are very strong and capable of supporting a skyscraper, some other soils are so poor that they can hardly support the weight of a man. The truth is, if the soil under a building construction is unstable, the foundation of the building would either sink or crack or worse still, the building may fall. Even if you are not planning to construct a multi-storey building, soil quality is still very important for constructions with ‘lighter’ structures, such as an adult zip line park as an example.

There are several soils in Australia and as mentioned above, some of these soils are very good for construction works while some are very bad for construction. Here is a list of soils found in Australia that are good for construction.

Loam

This is widely known as the ideal type of soil. It is typically a perfect combination of clay, silt, and sand. The soil is soft, dark, dry and crumbly to the touch. This type of soil is the best for construction, especially foundations, because of its evenly-balanced properties. Loam maintains water at a balanced rate. The Otway tree top adventure in Lorne, Victoria, is built on top of loam soil, which due to its properties, will be able to hold the extra weight on top of the giant trees that are already growing on them.

Rocky soil

This type of soil includes shale, sandstone, limestone, bedrock, etc. It is very stable, has high bearing capacities, and is very good and strong for constructing foundations. As long as the rock particles are level, the foundation will be well-supported. Rock is impermeable to water solutions and does not change size or shape when touched by water. More so, once fixed, rock does not move, shift, or slide. This makes it more useful for constructing foundations. Foundations constructed with rocks would not have cracks.

Sand

This type of soil is formed from small particles of weathered rock so it has a gritty texture. Though it is not good for constructing a foundation, it is good for constructing other structures because of its ability to drain out water easily. For additional stability, this type of soil may be compacted. Another reason why sandy soil is good for construction is because of its irregular shapes, the soil particles catch against one another to lock into place. This, therefore, provides additional stability. Sometimes, sand is added to building foundations and compacted to create a more stable ground.

Chalk

Chalk is formed from very fine particles of alkaline rocks like limestone. Though chalk is a type of clayey soil, it is good for construction because it does not retain moisture and would no shrink or swell at the absence or presence of moisture respectively.

The four mentioned soil above are the types of soil found in Australia that are good for construction. More so, one of the most important physical properties to consider when choosing good soil for construction is the strength and stability of the soil. For instance, clay seemed to be more stable than sand but this is true only during the dry weather as clay becomes unstable in wet seasons. This is one reason why clay expands in the wet season and contracts during the dry season, leading to a crack foundation and walls.

Notable Plumbing Codes In Australia

Countries with special building codes that are enforced can prevent devastating structural damages. Apart from building codes, maintaining plumbing systems is easy when builders adhere to plumbing standards. According to Australia’s plumbing standards regulations, certified plumbers must follow the technical requirements for the design of plumbing systems, and installation of materials. Let’s explain what some of the notable plumbing codes in Australia mean.

What Is A Plumbing Code?

A code of practice defines how professionals in certain industries should behave when they execute projects. Generally, the code of practice is a set of technical provisions or guidelines for a specific industry. When government regulators implement a code of practice concerning any sector, everyone expects compliance because codes are often backed by legislation. Inspectors ensure compliance during civil constructions and sanction erring contractors. Also, approval will not be given to plumbing systems that violate the Plumbing Code of Australia.

How Does the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) Work?

Usually, any set of building rules in Australia is part of the overall National Construction Code. Like the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), industry regulators ensure that plumbers use the right designs, materials, and follow technical details during installation and maintenance tasks which include the clearing of a blocked drain. Every state in Australia and territory adopts the Plumbing Code of Australia 2019 (PCA). So, these set of codes apply to plumbers and building contractors.

In simple terms, the PCA is a pact between territory and state plumbing acts and regulations. Apart from the construction of facilities that use water, the technical provisions in Australia’s plumbing code cover maintenance jobs, replacement, and upgrades. Additionally, it’s the duty of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) to ensure that contractors are compliant.

Description of Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA)

Plumbing codes in australia

To make general inquiries regarding plumbing and drainage plumbing projects, visit the Water Efficiency Labeling and Standards Regulator (WELSR) in Australia. However, building and plumbing contractors will need to certify and authorize their designs before commissioning any project. Some aspects of plumbing and drainage projects require basic levels of compliance from the PCA. 

  • Water services, and residential drainage systems
  • Sanitary plumbing, and stormwater drainage systems
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Onsite facilities for wastewater (treatment) management systems
  • Onsite facilities for liquid and waste management systems

Benefits of the Plumbing Code Of Australia

With the plumbing code, contractors can achieve acceptable standards during installation, and maintenance of plumbing systems. The right standards will improve hygiene, public health, safety, and quality of facilities. Also, ensuring proper plumbing codes helps to sustain infrastructure, manage resources, conserve the environment, and water. While ensuring the accountability of contractors, plumbing codes help to set up a transparent framework that checks the quality of materials. Materials of lower quality have been proven to be bad for the long run as these create more problems fast which would require more frequent drains repair. Additionally, the PCA is a national objective for assessing the performance of plumbing and construction projects.

Some Notable Plumbing Codes

Sanitary Drainage Systems

Sanitary plumbing codes for drainage systems cover sanitary appliances and fixtures. This regulation prevents loud noises from plumbing and disposal systems. So, contractors should install sound insulators on plumbing and drainage systems. It will dampen the noise from built-in mechanical components.

Accessible Plumbing and Drainage Fixtures for People with Disability

The requirements for designing and constructing sanitary facilities in any building must be friendly to people with disability. In the PCA, there’s a clear directive that plumbers should implement accessible facilities for people with disability.

Water Services

These requirements include verification processes for pressure and temperature control devices. Under the water service section of Australia’s plumbing code, warm water systems must maintain specific storage temperature. Also, the regulation requires heated water service pipes and drinking water pipes to be connected.

Sydney Introduces A New Winery With An Urban Twist

If it wasn’t for having to travel a long distance, most of us would probably visit cellar doors and wineries more regularly, for both the interior style and the wine. The wine maker behind the wine label A.Retief, Alex Retief, is saving you the trouble of having to travel by bringing the winery to you. Retief wants people from Sydney to appreciate the wines from NSW more.Sydney Introduces A New Winery With An Urban Twist

Urban Winery Sydney is a new business venture and it is now Australia’s first large winery in a city. In the Bordeaux region in France, a cultural immersion and winemaking stint was the inspiration for this idea. Retief states that “everyone had that knowledge and passion for wine, whether they were in the industry or not,” and he then came to realise that the people in NSW didn’t share the same mentality and that drove Retief to want to make a change.

One of the main missions that the Urban Winery Sydney faces is to boost NSW’s reputation for quality wines that stand up to their competitors in Victoria and South Australia. It is known that people who live in Victoria usually drink wines from the local wineries in the Yarra Valley, and the people who live in South Australia drink South Australian wines. But the frustrating thing for Retief is that the people of NSW’s drink wines from Victoria and South Australia and not their local wines from NSW.

They are working towards changing that mentality of the population in NSW and of the 14 growing wine regions in NSW, the ones that people really only think of are the Riverina and Hunter Valley regions. However, Retief is proving that the smaller regions producing wine throughout the state are very capable of making great wines, including his hometown of Gundagai.

At the Urban Winery Sydney, Retief will be basing his wine tasting around the fact that grape variety can differ from region to region and how and why that is so. “I’ll be showing other people’s wines as well, almost like a NSW wine centre. You can buy a flight of five wines, one of which will be mine, shown against four others from different regions to see how the growing conditions affect the wine,” he states.

The winery will call the newly revived Precinct 75 ‘home’. The Precinct 75 is well known as a creative hub for very unique businesses, such as Sample Coffee and Willie the Boatman. The interior design of the industrial space allows for heaps of natural light that shines on the resting barrels leaving a nice warm feeling throughout the building. Retief says how the building reminds him of the wineries in Bordeaux with the big concrete walls.

There are daily winery tours that are available and they usually take one-to-two hours. You also have the opportunity to sign up to a wine-blending masterclass. Each group will try five different barrel samples before they get the opportunity to blend their own wine. They will then go on to participate in a blind tasting of everyone’s blend. The winner of the blind tasting competitions will receive a dozen bottles of their own wine as the prize. Retief talks about how it will bring a very fun and a bit of a competitive twist to the process of wine learning.

With this new business venture starting up, hopefully it wont be long until the local wines of NSW can start competing with the South Australian and Yarra Valley wineries

Fears For Queensland Electricians as State Government Introduces New Electricity Business

Fears For Queensland Electricians as State Government Introduces New Electricity BusinessThe Queensland State Government has made a claim that the massive new electricity business that it has created won’t compete with electricians but that has been debunked by mobile data capture evidence that shows electricians and solar installers are already being spread across Queensland.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt defended the plans to unleash the business, which offers solar, metering, and other household electrical services on to the private market and is all state-funded.

Just recently, the Courier Mail revealed that it would offer services that are supplied by private electricians including lighting solutions for custom showcases in museums.

Mr Pitt has stated that the business will not compete with the licensed electricians and solar installers in the state and it will only operate where tradies aren’t. He goes on to say, “It is about trying to fill a gap in the marketplace where it is not commercially viable to offer those services, particularly in rural and remote parts of Queensland.”

“There is absolutely no suggestion of market failure or other conditions that would justify the State Government deciding to compete with small, local businesses and employers,” stated Malcolm Richards, chief of Master Electricians

Tim Nicholls from the opposition said that unleashing a monopoly on to private operators was absolutely “outrageous”, and Redcliffe electrician Klaus Coia said that his business will most definitely be hurt by such a big competitor who may possibly offer other services like online IT managed services. “It will be cut-throat, prices will go down and small businesses will be pushed out because they won’t be able to compete with the Government who will have to seek business coaching programs,” he said.