Interest in the pathological assessment of subsidence damage to residential buildings in the UK has grown considerably over the last 20 years. This followed a dramatic increase in claims to insurance companies for subsidence damage. Structural engineers and other construction professionals involved in the management of these cases require experience and sound engineering judgement to assess accurately the nature and extent of subsidence damage, the possible causative agents, and the most appropriate measures to rectify the situation. Problems have arisen where an incorrect diagnosis has been made, an inappropriate course of investigations followed, or ineffective remedial measures adopted. This paper describes an intelligent approach to the pathological assessment and rectification of subsidence damage to residential buildings based on a knowledge-based system known as SCAMS (subsidence case management system). SCAMS is intended to provide guidance for engineers dealing with subsidence cases at all stages of the management process—from initial diagnosis and prognostic assessment to further investigations and the specification of effective remedial measures. Details of the system's architecture, operations and benefits are included in the paper and substantiated with appropriate examples.
|Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings
|Published - May 2001