A new foundation calculator which assesses tree types and their depths is being released by the National House Building Council. The calculator, which will be available to NHBC registered builders free of charge, will be launched as an app and will help to bring foundation-related claims down. The National House Building Council or NHBC has developed the foundation depth calculator with the aim of providing builders with a field-based tool to assess tree types and the required NHBC Standards 4.2 foundation depths all from an app. The app will be given away free of charge to any NHBC registered builders and will help to cut the number of foundation-related claims. Over the last four years there has been a rise in claims and therefore a rise in cost. In fact, the last four years has seen a cost of £36 million for these claim types – approximately £9 million per year. In the UK, a large number of trees have a significant radial root system, in most cases extending one to one-and-a-half times the height of the tree. For this reason, the correct foundation depth is crucial. Marc Separovic, the NHBC technical projects manager has commented on the app release saying:

“We are confident that the introduction of the new app will provide builders with detailed and fast technical information which will ultimately help to raise house building standards and reduce the number of claims and subsequent costs of repairs to the industry.”

He believes that the combination of shrinkable soils and the roots of trees and shrubs can cause significant problems to new homes with the potential of affecting foundations, resulting in property damage. The new app should play a key role in reducing this threat. The app acts as a field-based pocket tool and allows for changes in ground level, the input of unlimited number of trees and also an auto climate zone depth reduction function via GPS. In addition, the app will advise on any suitable precautions, if required, and will offer insight into which trees require them to be provided. For more information on the new foundation calculator app from NHBC view the official video above.