Adjacent Structure Technical and Legal Risks

March 24, 2020
Publication: Deep Foundations - The Magazine of the Deep Foundations Institute
Author(s): Scott DiFiore Matthew Johnson Gregory R. Meeder James P. Chivilo

Excavation and heavy civil construction in urban environments directly impact abutters and existing adjacent structures. Noise and dust create nuisance concerns, while demolition, excavation and dewatering can cause earth movement and structural damage. Many jurisdictions have their own regulations that dictate requirements, roles and responsibilities for varying parties during construction. Illinois and Chicago, as an example, provide a legal framework for the owner of the new construction project to provide adequate protections for adjacent structures. This article covers legal and technical risks posed to adjacent structures that owners of new construction projects and their team must be aware of, such that the team is knowledgeable to navigate and allocate those risks. Early and frequent communication among project participants is necessary to manage risks, regardless of local regulations that may or may not exist to drive the process of developing a project.

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