What Is Ground Investigation?
Ground Investigation is an intrusive testing process that determines whether the ground for an intended project is stable and safe to build on. The investigation obtains critical information which indicates whether a project can progress, or whether it is too dangerous to continue. Here at Streval, we specialise in ground investigation and utilise several methods to ensure accurate results and ensure your project can go forward without encountering any identifiable issues.
This article will elaborate more on what ground investigation is, as well as cover soil investigation and the different processes we employ here at Streval to ensure the test is thorough and accurate.
What is a Ground Investigation?
As briefly touched on above, a Ground Investigation is a process that identifies potential risks which can interrupt a project or deem it too unsafe to continue with. Hazardous ground conditions include contaminated materials, waterlogged ground, and the presence of excessive chemicals, such as sulfates. When conducting a ground and soil investigation, it is vital to consider the geology, hydrogeology, and soil conditions of the site.
Geology refers to the science that concerns itself with the Earth’s physical structure, and the forces which could, or have negatively influenced it. Whereas hydrogeology is the examination of the distribution and movement of groundwater in the soil and rocks of the Earth’s crust.
What methods do we use?
To conduct ground and soil investigation here at Streval, we employ several types of testing methods to ensure total accuracy.
- DCP (Dynamic Cone Penetrometer)
The DCP is a soil investigation test used to evaluate the strength of the soils at the intended construction site. It uses a steel mass weighing 6.8kg which is dropped on an anvil that subsequently embeds a 3.8cm diameter cone into the soil as a result of the force of impact. The further this cone travels in depth, the weaker the soil.
- CBR (California Bearing Ratio Testing)
Similarly to how the DCP test evaluates the soil, CBR tests the subgrade strength of roads, pavements, and foundations and can determine the viability of new roads to be laid in the future.
- Plate Load Testing
The Plate Load Test is a soil investigation test that determines the ultimate bearing capacity of soil and the probable settlement under a given load. This test is ideal for shallow foundations and is usually used in cases in which ground particle sizes are large, or the soil has a firmer texture. The process involves applying an increasing load from a steel plate to induce settlement. This measures the ground’s actual bearing capacity and strength.
- Ground Bearing Capacity Testing
The Ground Bearing Capacity Test is an intrusive test that involves coring through the ground bearing slab to access subbase material for testing. This is usually the material the foundations are resting on. This process is normally conducted as a result of refurbishment or changes to the structure of a building and helps to ensure the intended refurbishments can be carried out.
Here at Streval, we conduct Ground Investigation tests to ensure the safety of your site with complete accuracy and provide you with detailed and concise reports, as well as peace of mind. Our structural investigation services are unmatched, and we always aim to provide the best bespoke services to our clients.