The Constructor

Moving Buildings -Types, Purposes, Moving Process and Precautions

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Moving buildings are structures which are relocated from its original location to new site. Different aspect of moving buildings with types of such buildings, process of moving are discussed.

Moving buildings involves the motivation behind moving the structure from one site to another, the process of moving buildings, and necessary precautions need for a successful moving of the structure.

Fig.1: Moving Building

Fig.2: Relocation of a Building

Motivations to Move Buildings

There are various factors that creates the need to move buildings from its original positions to new locations, for example, preserving historical structures from demolishing when its location is needed for industrial purposes or due to increase in population density new residential buildings are required to be built.

Another factor is that building have not been constructed based on proper plans and arrangements, so buildings are moved to provide desired arrangements.

It may be more economical to move the structure to the new location rather than demolishing it and then constructing new buildings.

There are situation in which the residential areas suffer from repeated catastrophic natural events such as flooding, so in this case moving buildings might be suitable option, for example, Clermont houses were moved due to the risk of flooding.

Historical houses are sometimes moved and collected to form a historical village.

Underpinning of Structure

Building underpinning is an essential work in the process of moving buildings and there are various techniques by which underpinning of structure is accomplished.

Underpinning methods that may be used for moving buildings are underpinning by continuous strip foundation, underpinning with piers or bases, underpinning by piles, pretest methods of underpinning, underpinning by injections, and freezing and thawing underpinning.

Moving Building Process

Moving building is process in which a structure is relocated from its original location to new site. Generally, underpinning techniques are used in the process of moving building.

There are different underpinning methods and most suitable techniques may be selected to be utilized. Specialized company with necessary skills and experiences should conduct such crucial operation.

Normally, moving building should be carried out based on not only adequate surveying of the structure and exact computation of loads but also thorough exploration and examination of soils at new site of the building and at tracks on which the building is moved, and proper jacking in combination with equalizing measuring strain equipment.

Moving building process includes the provision of a system of beams on which the weight of the building is placed, and these beams are positioned on a roller or wheel carriage that positioned on rail track. The rail track placed on the ground according to the desired direction.

Moreover, if direction changes along rail tracks are required, then the carriages are jacked up in turn after that rotating them in another direction to take a new set of tracks.

Types of Moving Buildings

Timber building, bearing wall buildings, and framed buildings are possible to be moved using necessary techniques and equipment.

In the following sections, procedures and methods used for moving buildings with bearing walls and framed buildings will be discussed.

Buildings with Bearing Walls

If buildings with bearing walls are intended to be moved from its locations, then it is recommended to introduce holes in the wall and place needles at suitable spacing in order to provide supports for the brick works and prevent failure.

After that longitudinal beams are placed on each side of the walls followed by jacking up the beams against the needles. Then, carriage wheels or rollers are placed under the longitudinal beams or second set of girders, which may be provided as an extra level of precautions regarding even distribution of loads, beneath the beams.

These girders offer some advantages since not only lead to decline the number of carriages but also decrease number of required jacks.

As far the movement force is concerned, long stroke hydraulic jacks are commonly used to generate the force required to move the carriage along the track. The cylinders are joined to the rails and the rams work against the carriage.

Winching or jacking can be employed, but the latter approach is desired because detrimentally uncontrolled and jerky motion is likely to occur when the former technique is applied.

It is reported that the force that needed for the initial movement should be around 1 to 2% of the weight of the structure, and the forced required to have a continuous movement of the structure is claimed to be approximately two third of the force necessary to start the movement.

Moving Framed Buildings

Measure need to undertake framed building involves needling and propping columns after that placing roller carriages under the support of a row of column or each column.

It is reported that, strut and ties can be employed in lower story or multistory framed buildings so as to transfer loads of columns to jacks. This will decrease the number of jacks required.

It is claimed that air cushion principle can be used to move structure especially those with flat or level bases such as storage tanks used to store patrols. When this method is considered for irregular buildings, necessary care should be practices regarding the possibility of losing air.

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