The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 60 (1982) > Issues > Issue 8 > Discussion on Foundations for Low-rise Buildings by M.J. Tomlinson, R. Driscoll and Professor J. B.
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Discussion on Foundations for Low-rise Buildings by M.J. Tomlinson, R. Driscoll and Professor J. B. Burland

Mr S. B. Tietz (F): The authors are to be congratulated on a most interesting paper, and their suggestion regarding categorisation of cracks deserves wide support. I agree that a great deal of remedial work has been carried out on buildings that never needed them, and this must ultimately reflect in house prices, the cost of insurance, and misplaced resources. We have been quoted some figures for the annual cost of such repairs. Some much higher figures-over ten times the figure quoted-have been put forward for claims outstanding. This is not quite the same as sums actually paid out, as some of the claims may never materialise in full, but nevertheless it would suggest that the scale of the problem could be greater. Also, mortgages are increasingly hard to find for cracked property even if an engineer has been courageous, or occasionally foolish enough, to state that the cracks are not significant. This is doubly unfortunate, as many such cracks are not even connected to foundation damage. An engineer’s opinion will carry more weight if insurers and owners are ready to accept from measurable evidence that certain damage is not unduly significant.