GPR is very effective in detecting and location filler joists in concrete slabs. Unlike some other methods, GPR can differentiate between dense beam reinforcement and filler joists. We were asked to locate filler joist on this site in London and mark up their positions in-situ.
This is often required, either to verify construction detail, or locate the filler joists so that they can be avoided when planning floor penetrations.
Filler joist construction is an early form of reinforced concrete floor slab construction, most common between 1880 and 1920. The reinforcement was usually embedded iron or steel joists, although earlier examples can have wrought iron sections. The steel joists span in one direction and are approximately 1m apart; the floor slab is in-filled with unreinforced concrete, often containing clinker or broken brick.
Clinker can be a problem when trying to locate the filler joist, due to its metallic content. This attenuates the GPR signal and limits penetration depth. No clinker was present on this site and we were able to locate and mark-up the position of filler joists as requested. If clinker concrete is present, it is still sometimes possible to locate the filler joists due to the strong reflection from the joists in the GPR data. The amount of clinker and the depth of the filler joists are major factors whether the filler joists can be located.