Judging the Bricks. Step 5: Foundations

What are our judges looking for when they are judging for the Bricks? What is it that makes a development a Bricks winner?

In this series of blogs, we aim to answer those questions and give you an insight of just what you need to do to be in with a chance to win at The Bricks.

The importance of strong and effective foundations cannot be overstated. Foundation failures can come back to haunt you or the eventual buyer of your building in expensive ways, so it’s imperative that you ensure you’re getting it right the first time.

As part of the judging for the Bricks, our surveyors are looking at the following under the foundations category:

  • Excavation
  • Concrete, placement and reinforcement

Mike Swatton, our Head Judge, goes into detail on what he looks for when he inspects foundations for The Bricks awards.

“Foundations are very important and are at the start of our judging so we clearly see the important aspect of the build which supports the home. We commonly see strip fill foundations and trench fill foundations and we’re looking to see that the depth is correct and take them down to the correct bearing capacity; the trenches are trim and in line and then the concrete is placed as it should be.

We also see specialist foundations on brownfield sites, these could be poured foundations or raft and other specialist design and it’s important the design is taken into account. Above the foundation concrete is the foundation blockwork and we’re making sure that’s well bonded, in line and square.

Sometimes tradesmen have said to me, it doesn’t matter, it’s not seen below the ground. But of course we can be the eyes and ears of the homebuyer, it’s vitally important those aspects not seen are equally as good as the parts that are seen.”

Best Practise

Chapter 5 of our Technical Manual is devoted solely to foundations and goes into detail on the specification of this area of the build.
Download Chapter 5 

If you’re building near trees, then you may also want to check out our foundation depth calculator for guidance on suitable foundation depths for your site:
Foundation Depth Calculator

Please remember that more information on all of the above can be found in our Technical Manual or by talking to your LABC Warranty Surveyor.
Download the Technical Manual


Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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