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Mistakes: Life’s Opportunity Grow & Learn (part 6)

The advantages and disadvantages of empowering everyone in the organization.

One of the great advantages we have done here at Arizona Foundation Solutions is that we have enlisted everyone who works here in our cause. Everyone who works here believes in our great cause and actively participates. Our Mission statement says….. “To empower our employees to make our customers lives better with our unique solutions”.  EVERYONE is a part of this. This has many benefits for our customers. As we like to say “many eyes are looking out for them”. Sometimes this can backfire on us. It can be a little messy….. sort of like democracy…. Messy yet so far the best thing we have to date.

We diagnosed the project below correctly and tried our darndest to implement it. We didn’t do that great of a job implementing. The coordination with the property manager was difficult at best. After installing the vacuum, and suction pit,  on the north unit only (tenant on the south was never notified) our electrician was never able to access either unit to make them live.

Topo Map Leveling with Bob Mistakes 6

We returned to the property several times. Took readings and evaluated the performance of the system. From a topological standpoint the newer reading showed not much difference from the original, which is OK since we did not see the dome heave increase. However, one of our foremen returned to the site, saw that the very large crack in the floor had increased, and that the crack in the stem at the front door and the a crack in the stem at the back arcadia door had both increased. From his stand point at the site he was convinced that the north end of the property was settling. It makes sense from a damage point of view. 2 large cracks in the stem walls opposite each other and a large floor crack running between them. He concluded that our MoistureLevel Smart Foundation System was not cutting the mustard for the customer and that now piers were needed along the north wall. Accordingly, a plan was prepared per below:

Map Leveling with Bob Mistakes 6

However, on further investigation the following facts came to light. The MoistureLevel system did not get any significant time to run on the north location. The south system never got installed. The north wall did not show any dropping elevations that could justify underpinning. The stem cracks are concerning. They are not understood at present other than perhaps they are an effect of footing heave. Something rare but not impossible.

So after further review it was recommended to make both systems active, not install any piles and monitor the structure performance as the MoistureLevel Smart Foundation System performs.

This project shows again how easy it is to come to a wrong conclusion on site without the benefit of having data to fully understand the bigger picture. And even though our site foreman was watching out for our customers, it almost resulted in a plan that would not have given them much benefit.  A messy process for sure…and not perfect… but better than the alternative.

 


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