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In the air
18/12/03
Complex temporary foundation works during construction of a basement at an historic building in Budapest prompted the contractor to address some fundamental engineering issues

Budapest, Hungary: Recent years have seen a significant and growing interest in the preservation and architectural reshaping of historic buildings. For example, the heart of Budapest is undergoing an intensive renewal programme, which has a declared objective of preserving the architectural heritage of the city while offering new space for offices and living areas.

In almost every case it is necessary to deepen the foundations to bring them up to modern standards and protect the buildings from future settlement. But equally many buildings are being enlarged with basements, which can provide valuable car parking space.

The AEB Bank acquired an architecturally commendable two-storey building for its headquarters – and is in the process of renovating and enlarging the building.

An apparently simple requirement to construct a single-level basement has resulted in a very complex and interesting foundation engineering challenge. This complexity comes not only from the limitations imposed by the need to respect the original architecture, but also because the building is physically in bad condition.

Budapest-based Foundation contractor, Hidpeto Soletanche Bachy Deep Foundation (HBM) carried out the work. External walls were first underpinned and extended down using a combination of jet-grouting and continuous flight auger piling.

Jet grouting was used to deepen existing walls, while cfa piling provided new retaining walls where the basement extends out beyond the footprint of the original building.

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