In this blog, Icon Surveyors will consider what ‘Sectional Hit and Miss Foundation Bays’ are and when you would use them, and why?
What are Sectional Hit and Miss Foundation Bays?
In the simplest of terms, ‘Sectional Hit and Miss Bays’ sometimes form part of the excavation process. They are small sequential sections of a trench that needs to be dug in order to create foundations when constructing a structure or building. They are often used when building an extension. They are usually placed in sequenced sections of about 1 meter in width and filled with concrete.
When would You Use Them and Why?
Under section 6 (2)(5) of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, any building owner proposing to carry out an excavation that is within 3 meters of an adjoining owner's land must notify any adjoining owner by way of a detailed Party Wall Notice, “indicating his proposals and stating whether he proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.” In accordance with section 6(2)(6) a Party Wall Notice, the building owner must specify details of the site and depth of the excavation and whether the proposed works will involve the erection of a building or structure.
There will be many instances where a building owner, carrying out an extension or other works, will be doing so without infringing the 3-metre rule and thus, their obligations under the Act. In such circumstances, the process used to lay the foundations would be to excavate a single trench.
If however, the 3-metre rule applies, there will be a risk of the adjoining owner’s foundations being exposed and thus a potential risk of such works causing structural movement and/or other subsequent damage to the adjoining owner’s property. For this reason, it is obligatory under the Act for any building owner proposing to carry out such works to safeguard all or any adjoining owner’s foundations.
As a measured use of damage limitation, the usual course of excavation would be to use Hit & Miss Bays, as this reduces the risk of an adjoining owner’s foundations being exposed in any one place.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free Party Wall Consultation to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.