The National House Building Council (NHBC) has developed the foundation depth calculator and is making it available free of charge to all NHBC registered builders,
The NHBC hopes that its app will help to bring down foundation-related claims, which over the last four years have cost the industry more than £36m – approximately £9m each year.
The foundation depth calculator provides builders with a field-based tool to assess tree types and required NHBC Standards 4.2 foundation depths via their mobile phone or handheld device. The majority of trees in the UK have a significant radial root system, extending one to one-and-a-half times the height of the tree, meaning that the correct foundation depth is crucial.
NHBC technical projects manager Marc Separovic said: “We are confident that the introduction of the new app will provide builders with detailed and fast technical information which will ultimately help to raise house building standards and reduce the number of claims and subsequent costs of repairs to the industry.
“The combination of shrinkable soils and the roots of trees, hedgerows and shrubs present a significant hazard to new homes, which has real potential to affect foundations and damage properties so the new app will play a key role in reducing this threat.”