A ground investigation is a thorough assessment and examination that examines the subsurface conditions in a specific area or site. This process is designed to collect valuable information on the geological, environmental, geotechnical and other characteristics of the soil. This data is crucial for various engineering, construction and environmental projects. To ensure safety, efficiency and environmental compliance, ground investigations are usually conducted prior to construction or development.
In a ground investigation, tests, surveys and assessments are conducted to evaluate soil, rock and subsoil properties. These ground investigation techniques can include drilling boreholes and conducting soil and rock samples, analysing soil composition, measuring the groundwater levels and assessing contamination risks.
Examples of ground investigation can include geotechnical and geoenvironmental investigations, with both being investigations of the ground, albeit with a different focus.
Data gathered from a site investigation helps engineering geologists and environmental consultants develop an accurate understanding of the ground conditions. It is from here they can make informed decisions regarding the suitability of a site for construction, development, foundation design and groundwater management. It also helps identify potential hazards and highlights whether any further investigation will be required.
This thorough understanding of ground conditions is essential for minimising risk, optimising the construction process, and ensuring long-term stability. Ground investigations are an essential step in planning and executing various infrastructure and environmental initiatives.
Why do I need a Ground Investigation carried out?
In the UK, ground investigations are vital for construction projects. These investigations are essential to prevent delays and cost increases caused by adverse or unforeseen ground conditions. These site investigations are designed to provide builders with a thorough understanding of the ground conditions beneath a construction site. This will allow them to minimise risks and avoid delays.
It is important to conduct the right site investigation before requesting planning permission. If you fail to complete these investigations or meet the planning conditions, your permission may be denied. Site investigations are therefore crucial not only for the success of a project but also for securing approval from regulatory authorities.
At IBEX Consulting Engineers, we specialise in various site investigations, whether it be geotechnical and geoenvironmental, or mining and environmental site assessments. IBEX Consulting can manage investigations on even the most difficult sites, following best practices and planning guidelines. We work closely with experts on every ground or site investigation, including engineers, geologists and environmental scientists as well as drillers and technicians. By avoiding unanticipated complications, this expertise saves time and money on construction projects.
Our ground investigations are cost-effective, robust and top quality in line with our clients' requirements as well as regulatory requirements.
Our intrusive ground investigation is undertaken in accordance with BS:5930 and relevant Euro codes. In-situ testing and sampling are undertaken in accordance with Eurocode 7, BS5930, BS10175, BS1377 or other specific guidance as appropriate to the individual tests.
Geotechnical laboratory tests are carried out by an independent and UKAS Accredited Laboratory in accordance with BS1377 to undertake soil and water tests.
Geochemical laboratory tests are carried out by an independent and an MCERTS and UKAS Accredited chemical testing laboratory that can provide a fast and reliable turnaround of results.
Our robust soil investigation surveys are specified and are undertaken to provide information to aid a sound foundation design and thereby minimise the risk of over-designed schemes, construction delays and spiralling project costs. The ground investigation enables a quantitative geo-environmental contaminated land risk assessment to be undertaken in accordance with best practices to meet local regulatory requirements.
Our borehole drilling rigs vary from handheld tools to large rotary drilling rigs, truck-mounted CPT rigs and dynamic sampler rigs, depending on the size of the proposed/existing building and the access constraints.
Ground and Site Investigation Services
Our services include Phase 1 Desk Studies (during the planning and development process), geotechnical assessment for foundations, excavation stability, drainage, slope stability assessment, pavement design and buried concrete design, settlement assessment, preliminary pile design, desiccation assessment, earthworks design and its supervision, reinforced slope design, gabion basket wall design, retaining wall design, anchored slope/wall design, CBR testing, long term groundwater monitoring, ground gas monitoring, geochemical assessments, contamination assessment, geo-environmental consultancy, Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) testing or WAC testing, waste classification, pollution free topsoil validation, permeability testing or BRE 365 soakage testing for drainage strategies, soil testing, soil analysis test, soil sampling for infrastructure design as well as cost-effective and compliant remediation solutions.
A combination of in situ testing is undertaken using specialist techniques during the fieldwork and on soil samples taken back to the independent UKAS-accredited laboratory. The soil tests determine a wide range of parameters including strength, density, plasticity, volume change potential, soil suction, compressibility and permeability.
We utilize this information to assess the following:
Foundation Design Parameters
Basement Design Parameters
Retaining Wall Design Parameters
Finite Element Analyses (FEA)
Stabilised Slope Design with/without reinforcement (e.g. anchors or geotextiles)
Slope Stability Assessments
Evaluation of Dissolution Features
BRE 365 Soakage testing or Permeability Testing or
Earthworks Design and Supervision
Depth of Soil Desiccation
Geotechnical and contamination investigations are usually combined to utilise the equipment when on-site and to save client costs.
Our chartered and highly experienced Site Supervisors can undertake various in-situ tests including dynamic plate tests to provide an equivalent CBR, as required by many Local Authorities and the Highways Agency.
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