A Ground Investigation is an intrusive investigation to establish the soil and rock profile and parameters for Geotechnical and Environmental purposes.

Sub Surface can design a site specific Ground Investigation to satisfy the Client’s project requirements and any regulatory authorities. Our network of local offices across the UK allows us to provide a cost effective service nationwide. Sub Surface cater for all project types and sizes from small residential extensions to large corporate/government infrastructure projects.

All our Ground Investigations are carried out in accordance with the UK Specification for Ground Investigation, British Standard Code of Practice BS5930 and British and European Standard BS EN 1997-2 (EC7). For Quality Assurance, all our drillers have an NVQ in Land Drilling from the British Drilling Association and we are accredited by Constructionline and CHAS.

Founded in 1972 and boasting over 50 years of experience, Sub Surface has earned recognition as one of the UK’s leading independent firms specialising in Ground Investigation, Geotechnical, and Environmental Consultancy.

For more information about Ground Investigations, read our blog post… What is a Site Investigation Q & A’s  

The Aims of a Ground Investigation

Our aim in undertaking a Ground Investigation is to obtain information and soil parameters of the ground conditions to allow economic and safe designs to be developed and to reduce, as far as possible, the occurrence and impact of unforeseen conditions. This is achieved by obtaining disturbed and undisturbed samples for geotechnical laboratory testing and Contamination analysis, whilst carrying out in-situ testing such as, SPT’s, CPT’s, hand shear vane tests, etc.

An accurate understanding of the ground conditions is necessary for all construction projects including foundations, piling, vibroflotation, retaining walls, earthworks, slope stability, road design, dewatering, sewer construction site, tunnelling, phase 2  ground investigations for contamination analysis, landfill gas assessment, waste classification and waste disposal, etc.

Ground Investigations are undertaken to satisfy the requirements of our Clients’ and where necessary the requirements of any regulatory bodies, Local Authority Departments etc.

Ground Investigation Techniques

There are various methods of intrusive Ground Investigation techniques of which each technique has its advantages and limitations. The technique used will be determined by the Clients’ requirements, proposed development, site location, anticipated geology, any Local Authority Requirements and when available, the findings of a Desktop Study. Some of the most common methods Sub Surface use include:

Further details of the various techniques, testing and reporting services are given under Site Investigation

What’s included in our Geotechnical Ground Investigation Reports

Every project and development is different, however an interpretative Ground Investigation Report for a basic Foundation Design, would include:

  • Engineer Logs
  • In-situ Testing
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Shrinkage and swelling potential of clays/silts (cohesive strata)
  • A Foundation Assessment
  • Safe Bearing Pressures and/or Pile Loads
  • Floor Slab Construction
  • Groundwater Information
  • Concrete Classification – Design Sulphate (DS) Class and Aggressive Chemical Environment for Concrete (ACEC) Classification

Additional items commonly incorporated within our Interpretative Reports include:

  • A Coal Mining Risk Assessment
  • Earth Pressure Coefficients for Retaining Walls and Basements
  • CBR Values for Roads, Car Parks and Hardstandings
  • Percolation and Soakaway Tests
  • Settlement Calculations
  • Slope Stability Analysis
  • Contamination Analysis
  • Landfill Gas Assessment

It should be noted that when developing a brownfield site and many greenfield sites, the Local Authority generally apply a prerequisite on the Planning Conditions requiring a Phase 1 Desktop Study

All of our Interpretive Reports are written to the current British Standards, Eurocode 7 Standards and National House Building Council (NHBC) Standards.

How much does a Ground Investigation Cost?

The cost of a Ground Investigation can vary significantly depending on many factors. These factors include the scope of work, proposed development, size of the site, location, the type of soil and geology in the area, the depth of investigation, and reporting and regulatory requirements, among others.

Sub Surface takes a personalised approach by designing site-specific ground investigation cost estimates tailored to the project requirements and the unique characteristics of the site. This ensures that our clients receive cost-effective ground investigation solutions, adding substantial value to their projects.

How to Get a Quote

If you would like a quote, please contact your Regional Sub Surface Office (regional map via link) and email the following information (where necessary/available):

  • Project requirements
  • Site Location Plan
  • Existing Site Plan
  • Proposed Development Plan
  • Phase 1 Desk Study
  • Planning Conditions

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