2017-09-26

“It could happen also on your smallest construction site”

How to avoid costly lawsuits and insurance claims

Even the smallest building projects tend to cause a certain amount of noise and vibrations. Beyond general irritation in the neighbourhood, vibrations may also result in cracks and other damages to surrounding buildings. And, consequently, substantial insurance claims from the house owners.

In any such financial dispute, precise and reliable documentation of the actual circumstances is key. Exactly when and where did vibrations occur? How strong? And so forth.

In the past, professional vibrations monitoring was widely regarded as too complex, too time consuming and too costly for all but the very largest builders and construction projects. So you took your chances and hoped for the best.

Today, all this is changing rapidly due to new digital measuring techniques. Small measuring sensors can usually be applied, connected and activated within the course of a few minutes. Any vibrations will then be recorded automatically in a data logger. Whenever the set limits are surpassed, an alarm signal is forwarded by SMS or other techniques to the persons in charge, and the collected data is translated into periodical reports.

Christer Svensson at Sigicom has worked with vibrations measuring for several decades, and is actively involved in the development of new technology:

It could happen even in the smallest construction site. If and when a dispute occurs regarding the cause of cracks or other damages to a building, it is extremely important that you can prove exactly when they occurred. If, for example, it coincided with work that involved blasting, drilling or earth moving. But, importantly, the quality of the documentation must be absolutely unquestionable.

This means that the measuring system used must be both precise and reliable, and that the technicians that apply them are properly trained.

Once it is applied anybody can learn to use it in minutes, and the costs involved are very small in relation to the potential costs of a lawsuit or insurance claim”, says Christer Svensson

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