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Building belt

Specialist contractor Van Elle is promoting the Hoopsafe structural stabilisation system which it purchased last year. The system was developed by engineer Armand Safier in the 1980s and offers an alternative to traditional techniques by using post-tensioned ring beams to stabilise a structure.

According to Van Elle (Hoopsafe) managing director Vic Handley the system is like putting a girdle round a structure. The girdle is a reinforced concrete beam that grips like a belt round a building that has differential cracking because of subsidence. The Hoopsafe girdle means that in future if the building moves, it moves as one unit.

Reinforcement beams typically measure 300mm by 250mm and are quick, is simple and non-disruptive to install says Handley. The prestressing tendon runs through the centre of the beam and is stressed to 75% by jacking.

Average cost for stabilising a pair of semi detached houses is put at £12,000 including reinstation, drainage diversions and crack repairs.

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