Woe is Me The Pile Driving Has Got to Stop

CASE STUDY – from the files of Integral…………

The frame one storey commercial building is consistent with the type of construction built in the sixties and the early seventies. The main building is slab on grade with footings and frame walls and ceiling. The bathrooms are constructed with slab on grade and framed walls and roof attached to the main structure. This design appears to be that the bathrooms were an addition. Over the years add-ons were constructed as post and beam construction directly over the rear parking lot.  This is evident in the middle and rear storage areas in two of the units. 








The street is higher than the main floor of the building and the rear parking lot slopes away from the building giving every indication that the building itself could actually slope toward the rear.  The engineer’s report indicates that the building was constructed on land that has a layer of peat underneath it. Therefore natural settlement would occur over the years. It is obvious from the condition of the foundation retaining wall and concrete pads that no pilings were done for the building.






Also evident are old rail tracks in the floor of one unit in the rear storage area which is next to the concrete wall that has cracked and bulged.   This wall in fact could be an old retaining wall used for a loading platform but we have not explored this possibility.



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The new construction is next to the unit where the wall has moved and structural cracks have appeared in the foundations and concrete pads. Cracking has also occurred to the drywall along the rear wall. The pad for the floors in the washrooms has sunk causing superficial damage to the interior of the washrooms.



We have received a written report from the roofer who recently replaced the roof. This report states: “Due to the demolition and construction of the adjacent building (east side) the roof was damaged in many different spots. Fallen debris and wreckage pieces had caused an excessive damage to the roof. “The previous roof was 90 lb. roll-on roofing and was replaced with 180 Torchoflex roofing.



The plumber states in his invoice: “I have found that the two water lines that I have repaired were broken because of excess vibrations from next door where they are constructing a new building. The cement slabs have broken away and have sunk causing the pipes to break.”


Unfortunately, there was not a preloss inspection completed for the building before the pilings were installed for the building next door. It is difficult to ascertain when this cracking and settling along the south wall, the bathrooms and the attached storage areas occurred although in all of these areas there is fresh powder residue and crumbled particles. The pilings for the construction may have escalated normal settlement to the building.


We have surveyed the fresh damage and our scope addresses these areas as mentioned above in this report. The scope does not address all the building deficiencies or conditions – only the area that we feel could have been caused by the driving of piles next door. Our approach to the assessment of restoration was to repair rather than replace except for the few items that must be replaced in order to effect necessary repairs.