“Without Site Investigation Ground is a Hazard” (ICE, 1993).

Site investigation identifies and quantifies ground risks allowing the effective design, planning, programming and costing of construction.

We help our clients understand the risks, liabilities and opportunities related to the ground, assisting them with decisions key to the design and success of their projects. Site investigation is essential and integral to any development, whether for foundations, earthworks or land contamination. Our team of geological, geotechnical and geo-environmental specialists have a huge breadth of experience and provide a full “turn key” service – designing, planning, procuring, managing and reporting on site investigations.

Our site investigations are designed to provide best value to our clients ensuring technical excellence and legislative compliance. Site conceptual models from the desk study are used to efficiently identify key hazards and the most appropriate, current investigation techniques are selected by our ground engineers, working to current best practice, British and European standards.

We proactively work with regulators at design stage, ensuring that data necessary to discharge statutory requirements are provided in the site investigation. We are particularly experienced with designing investigations to enable the cost effective remediation of difficult sites, like those affected by contamination or former mining.

Effective data collection, collation and management is critical to the success of all site investigation. Our strict protocols are used to transfer recorded data from the site to the office and into our data management system.

We use industry-leading Keynetix HoleBASE software to import data in the current AGS format from site investigation contractors; to collate, manage and store site investigation data; and to provide efficient graphical output and interface with other software for digital engineering (BIM) and engineering design.  Our Quality Management system ensures that the data we collect are accurate and representative of the ground we are investigating.

Effective interpretation of site investigation data is key to ensuring that key risks, liabilities and opportunities related to the ground are identified so that they can be managed effectively by the client.

Our experienced ground engineers are skilled in reviewing, interpolating and interpreting large, diverse and potentially confusing datasets, enabling them to classify and characterise the ground, its various properties and its inherent physical hazards and risks. Our trained engineering geologists and engineers are skilled in interpreting ground information in three dimensions and deriving characteristic values for key geological, mining, geotechnical or contamination parameters using statistical techniques or best practice.

High quality, cost-effectiveness and consistency of site investigation is ensured by using a “turn key” approach where we manage the complete site investigation on behalf of our clients, from concept to reporting. We deliver site investigations using industry-standard forms of contract and specifications, adjusting these to meet our client’s needs and any special requirements.

The most appropriate contract strategy is selected to meet our client’s requirements and the project’s CDM (2015) status. Best value is ensured either by tendering to selected contractors on our approved suppliers list or, for specialist investigations, by negotiation of rates with a single approved nominated contractor.

We manage all aspects of supervising site investigations on behalf of our clients, tailoring the scale of supervision to meet our client’s requirements and the risks. On small projects a single engineer may be appropriate, however on large major projects we may deploy a whole team of ground engineers.

Our ground engineers administer site investigation contracts on behalf of our clients as well as ensuring technical compliance and providing input to the management of health, safety and welfare on the project. We follow current guidance and statutory requirements and our own safety management systems to ensure a safe working environment.

We provide our clients with a comprehensive site investigation capability to investigate all aspects of potential contaminated land. This includes the consideration of the potential impacts of soil and groundwater contamination and ground/landfill gas to sensitive receptors, where these potential hazards have been identified earlier in the preliminary risk assessment and site conceptual model prepared during the desk study.

Our combined skills in geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry and geotechnical engineering enable us to effectively refine the site conceptual model using current best practice, risk assessment, guidance and statutory requirements. Our practical and common-sense approach ensures for cost effective remediation where appropriate.

Our ground engineers use the results of site investigation to assess bearing and settlement characteristics of the ground for proposed structures.  Using the interpreted ground profile and characteristic geotechnical parameters of the subsoils and/or bedrock, they advise on founding horizons and foundation types; calculate allowable bearing capacities; and estimate ground settlement.

Typically, on brownfield sites this assessment may include considerations of ground improvement techniques such as vibro-compaction, soil improvement or re-engineering to construct an “engineered fill”.  Project viability may depend on ground-related abnormal costs, and on us providing tailored, best value, practical solutions to enable the safe development of land.

Following Phase 2 ground investigations and ‘site specific’ risk assessments with regards to human health, controlled waters and gas, generic risk assessments may be insufficient to understand the significance of contamination. In these situations, Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessments (DQRA) are carried out by our experienced environmental scientists using current software and guidance, to determine if the contamination represents a genuine risk to receptors.

Our experienced teams of scientists, working with our clients’ aspirations in mind, deal effectively and proactively with the environmental regulators, to achieve practical yet environmental compliant solutions to land contamination issues to maximise our clients’ developments potential.

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