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A commitment to standards

It is pleasing to say that the piling and foundation industry is experiencing soaring levels of demand - even outstripping that seen in recent years, says Terry Bolsher.

In the last quarter members of the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) have reported a 53 per cent increase in orders.

The private sector, both industrial and commercial, is leading the way with a 100 per cent increase in orders placed during this time. Housing and public sector work also remains at a consistent high level.

This boom-time for the industry is obviously welcome, but a period of high demand does create challenges.

Thankfully both main contractors and subcontractors have been preparing for the increased demand and are ready to deal with it safely, professionally and competently.

FPS members have paid particular attention to safety - with training and card schemes; quality - with pre-qualification schemes and audits; environmental focus - by sharing best practice; and commercial focus - through new standards.

Busy times

But piling companies need clients to understand that the industry is busy and that there is a limit to the quantity of resources available.

This means that clients and main-contractors must communicate with specialist foundation contractors earlier in the project and fully commit to a subcontractor if client expectations with regard to programme and costs are to be met. Then together we will deliver projects to everyone’s satisfaction.

Terry Bolsher is managing director of Aarsleff Piling and Centrum Pile