Are you looking to overcome the issue of unskilled labour when constructing below-ground?

Many ground works subcontractors feel there’s a shortage of skilled labour – especially those who have the experience and knowledge required to complete the construction of a traditional insitu concrete methods. Understanding of the materials installed as well as the conditions they’re installed in, have a huge impact on the end result.

Like many building sites, works may end up falling behind programme. The risk is that when they do, activities are rushed, and quality is the first thing to suffer.

However, there is another way. As a specialist subcontractor, I’m going to tell you about how you can overcome unskilled labour AND prevent concrete substructure leaks.

How you can overcome the challenge of unskilled labour

The main issue if you’re constructing below-ground in a high water table area, is that the water pressure can build up. If there’s any weakness in a joint from the construction method, this will be made worse over time. It’ll also happen a lot faster.

However, there is another option: prefabricated steel substructures. These are manufactured entirely out of steel, off-site in a controlled factory environment. The manufacturing process involves the constructing of steel plates, and the necessary strengthening to build substructures in an off-site facility.

This is a much cleaner and more organised working environment, and takes away all risk of having unskilled labour on-site. The result? A steel substructure that’s entirely watertight; sort of like the hull of a ship.

Upon completion, the substructure is then transported to the site, fixed into position, and back-filled with concrete between the earth and the substructure. A specialist subcontractor will even be able to take on the risk of installation, so you won’t have to worry about your unskilled labour – whilst the risk of leaking is completely eliminated.

Advice from a specialist subcontractor

If you think prefabricated steel could help you tackle the problem unskilled labour on-site, AND overcome the risk of leaking, I’d recommend speaking with a subcontractor who specialises in prefabricated steel. They should be able to give you some free, impartial advice, and give you a quote if you think it could be a viable option for your project.

You should also be able to speak to their previous clients and see what they had to say about the whole experience. If that’s not possible, there should at least be some customer testimonials that you can read online.

I know design managers who’ve had bad experiences in the past with in situ concrete when the formwork was removed, which led to leaks and their entire project going over programme as a result. Prefabricated steel is a way to avoid this risk, and the only way to ensure your below-ground substructure won’t leak.


I hope you’ve found this blog helpful when looking to overcome the challenges of unskilled labour, and the risks associated with traditional below-ground construction. The best advice I can give you is to seek out a specialist contractor who specialises in prefabricated steel, and see if you can also speak to previous clients.

This should hopefully give you a better idea of what to expect, and whether prefabricated steel is a good solution for you.

Do you have any questions about unskilled labour when constructing below-ground? Let me know in the comments. I’m always happy to help!