Structural movement monitoring is the process of measuring and recording the movements of a structure over time. It is used to detect changes in structural behaviour, such as deformation, vibration, and potential collapse.
As movement and vibration monitoring surveyors, we design our movement monitoring reports around each client’s bespoke needs.
Structural Monitoring Services
Structural movement monitoring is a service we provide for demolition, construction, and maintenance projects. These structural monitoring survey services include, static point XYZ, crack gauge tell-tails, and construction vibration monitors. As building movement monitoring surveyors, our movement monitoring and vibration monitoring survey reports are designed to be easily understood by all parties involved.
Party Wall Monitoring Services
When monitoring structural movement in support of a party wall monitoring report requirement, a monitoring surveyor can attend your project on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This way we help ensure construction work does not cause structural movement beyond the trigger levels agreed by your party wall surveyors.
Monitoring Surveyor Visit Cost
The cost of a monitoring surveyor visit varies widely due to many factors. This is because the structural movement monitoring services we provide are used to detect a wide range of potential problems before they become serious. These includes cracks in walls, corrosion of foundations, continuing subsidence, and vibration damage to buildings. We monitor these structural movements using a variety of methods, including tell-tale gauges, laser guided theodolites, and accelerometers.
Monitoring surveyor prices start from £375 +VAT per visit, while our real-time 24/7 automated monitoring would have a bespoke price based on your site conditions. Both options accommodate projects countrywide.
Monitoring Structural Movement for Ground Deformation
Monitoring structural movement for ground deformation often requires a combination of instruments and measurement techniques. Our ground monitoring systems are often used on solar farms, landfill sites, and highways.
As one of the UK’s top structural movement monitoring companies, we provide Ground Penetrating Radar, Crack Monitoring, Vibration and Red Laser Movement Monitoring reports. These systems work in line with structural engineer and party wall surveyor designated building movement monitoring trigger level guidelines.
Remote Structural Movement and Vibration Monitoring
As just one of our many countrywide surveying services, we also operate Real-Time 24/7 Automated building movement monitoring systems. Here we use robotic total stations to track demolition and basement excavation effects on nearby buildings. The same robotic movement monitoring system is used to monitor building subsidence, RAAC construction deformation, and ground settlement over time.
Remote movement monitoring surveys are another of our many ways of assessing the structural integrity of a building. By remotely measuring structural movement over time, we identify potential problems that may arise and advise on the necessary steps to address them.
One of the first steps in conducting any building movement monitoring survey is to identify the type of movement that needs to be monitored. This can include vertical, horizontal, or rotational movement. Once the type of movement has been identified, a party wall surveyor or structural engineer will need to determine the frequency of our movement monitoring reports. This could range from daily to annually, depending on the type of movement being monitored. The next step is to install the equipment necessary to measure movement ranging from accelerometers, mini-prisms, and retro-targets to automated structural monitors.
Structural Monitoring FAQs
When do you recommend structural monitoring?
Your structural engineer or party wall surveyor would recommend 3D point structural movement monitoring whenever there is a risk of significant movement or deformation in a building or structure.
Any amount of structural movement can affect structural integrity and pose a risk to safety. Hence, the monitoring of structural movement may be necessary before, during, and after construction.
Scenarios where we would recommend structural or building movement monitoring include:
When a building is located on unstable soil or ground prone to settlement or expansion.
Environments where there is risk of landslides and below ground hazards such as bio-gas build up within an historic landfill.
When a building is undergoing modifications or renovations that could affect structural integrity, such as extensions and basements.
When a building or wall is aging and there is concern about further deterioration or cracking.
What are your building movement monitoring services?
Our structural movement monitoring services include the use of sensors, crack gauges, and laser distance monitoring equipment to track the movement and deformation of a structure over time. These tools are designed to detect any potential issues as early as possible and allow our services to trigger the timely intervention of a structural engineer or builder to address problems before they become more serious.
Some party wall monitoring problems may not be visible if the source is due to underground utility services, tree roots, voids and alike. Here we can also help diagnose the source of your structural movement through our subsurface GPR survey scan service.
What environment is structural movement monitoring used for?
Our structural movement monitoring services are used wherever building construction or demolition work is taking place. Periodic monitoring reports help ensure that nearby buildings are at minimal risk of collapse. Our real-time automated monitoring systems can operate 24/7 and quickly detect the early signs of a moving building to prevent future damage.
Cracks are usually the first signs indicating that structural movement has already started. In this case we also monitor pre-existing cracks by installing Tell-Tale Crack Gauges. These help us measure further periodic movement and determine whether any subsidence damage is progressive.
Movement occurs for various reasons ranging from excavation work during the construction of a new basement to natural ground movement. A common cause of natural subsidence is the rising or falling water-table. As well as adjacent construction work, man-made causes include gas build up from land fill taking effect on the subsoil. Being able to detect any form of movement early can help prevent longer term problems.
Particularly effective where buildings are listed or hard to reach, our movement monitoring system records movement on any surface. However, we still maintain the options of GMP Mini Prisms and Retro-Targets on more straight forward projects.
The range of building movement monitoring services we provide are designed to satisfy the needs of all sides of a party wall agreement. Our reports help provide reassurance that a construction project is not significantly affecting adjoining properties.
What is Movement Monitoring?
Monitoring is the process of measuring and assessing the effects of construction and demolition work. The adverse affect of groundworks based activity on an adjacent structure is recorded over fixed predetermined return periods.
What is Vibration Monitoring?
Vibration monitoring is another way South East Site Engineers assess structural movement. As one of a number of vibration monitoring companies in and around London, choosing the one that is right for you can be quite daunting. At South East Site Engineers we always have someone on the other end of the phone that either knows the answer to your problem, or can put you in contact with an engineering surveyor that does. Click here for more information on our vibration movement monitoring service in particular.
How often do I need to monitor the neighbouring building?
During any basement excavation or general groundwork you may be advised to carry out weekly monitoring visit. However, this decision is usually taken by a qualified structural engineer or party wall surveyor after inspecting the project and site conditions. The structural engineer may request that you carry out more frequent visits during the critical phases. Once a return period is decided, monitoring itself would typically commence no less than 3 weeks prior to starting any structural work. This is to enable a sufficient amount of baseline control readings to be taken.
When is the best time to monitor building movement?
For crack monitoring reports due to road vibration damage or natural circumstances call our office now for further information. To avoid construction vibration damage to buildings while demolishing, excavating, and beyond call us now to discuss your needs. All of our structural movement survey monitoring options can be combined into one package. This allows our wholistic building movement monitoring systems to satisfy a wider range of party wall monitoring reporting needs.
Do your movement monitoring report satisfy the requirements of the Part Wall etc Act 1996?
Generally, yes; however there are a host of both static and dynamic movement monitoring systems out there. It is up to your party wall surveyors or structural engineers to agree on what is right for your project. Although it can be confusing to know which one best suits your surveyors specifications; in essence the difference is simply. Dynamic monitoring constantly measures established targets and notifies you by email or text alert once any trigger levels have been breached.
Static movement monitoring is a manual system although it can be automated as well. Here, periodic visits take place daily, weekly, monthly or other with readings taken on known target points. Hopefully little to no change in results are seen between the current and previous readings.
The different types of Movement Monitoring Report we provide are all Static Services, all of which are guaranteed to the same +/-2mm accuracy. The different targets we use are as follows.
Intrusive (Screw Fixed) Tell-Tale Gauges
These are best suited to situations where you already have a visible crack in the wall. Here small chem-fix or screw-fix penetrations are made for two sliding plates on the surface of a wall over-sailing the crack in question. Periodic Readings are then taken of the plates over time to establish whether or not the crack is widening.
Intrusive (Drill Fixed) L-Bar Mini Prisms
These are the most expensive system and cost in excess of £150 for the installation of each Monitoring Point. This is due to the fact that we only use Leica GMP104 specialist mini prisms to guarantee accuracy in our readings. Here all the walls that would require monitoring would require an 8mm hole to be drilled into the wall in question. This can only be done if you are the owner of or are authorised to drill into the wall in question. These will last the longest of all monitoring systems and remain effective in all weather conditions.
Non-Destructive (Sticker Fixed) Retro Tape
These are the most common of all monitoring points. They are also the targets most likely to fail over time, as they are prone to weathering on longer term projects. If installed well they can last well over three years which is enough time for most building projects. These are best used for medium ( two year) term projects and are the easiest of all the monitoring points to report on. Things to consider include feasibility of installation, particularly when readings are to be taken at height.
These are the most cost effective of all monitoring points. Here we use the existing features on a surface and monitor the position of these features over time. Our default position would almost always be Retro Tape, however if reflector-less monitoring points can be chosen wisely, this non-intrusive system can be just as effective as all the other systems and is the safest when periodic readings have to be taken at height.
How frequently do you need to visit when monitoring structural movement?
We advise that your first 3 periodic readings are taken before any construction work (including demolition) takes place, however, our reporting periods are designed to suit you.
With regards to frequency in particular, this would depend on the level of risk you are undertaking on the project; with the risk itself also varying at each stage of the project.
For example, your highest risk of damage to a building of national interest or a neighbours party wall may be during the demolition or groundwork phase of your project, where cracks be they pre-existing or new often start to show themselves. Here weekly, daily or twice daily visits are advisable.
Once the superstructure of a new building or the basement installation of a refurbishment has been completed the risk of damage is far less likely and periodic visits of fortnightly, monthly or annually returns may suffice depending on the advice of your structural engineer or party wall surveyor.
For more information, prices and guided steps on how to purchase the monitoring options most suited to you, simply click on the “Book An Engineer” button at the top of this page and select our Static Movement Monitoring (Movement Monitoring) service.