Site Investigations

11 October 2023 – 2 Minute Read

What are the stages of site investigation?

Stage 1: Desk studyThis involves gathering existing information and records about your site for example maps, historical photographs, aerial imagery of it and published documents.

Stage 2:  Site reconnaissance

This is the act of physically visiting and surveying your site to collect useful evidence with regards to the site’s terrain, environment, ecological constraints and hydrogeology. You can do this by mining, drilling boreholes, digging trial pits and taking samples back for laboratory testing.

Stage 3: Testing and reporting

Here you will need to design a strategy to carry out any remediation for any contamination you found in testing. The report should include an assessment of the site’s suitability for the intended project.

Why is a site investigation important in construction?

A site investigation is important in construction because it helps determine what materials can be used on that site, whether the groundwater conditions are appropriate to be constructed on and whether the ground will impact the future of the construction project. A thorough and accurate site investigation will help you lower your overall costs and improve the safety of your site for years to come.

Site investigations should be conducted by professional contractors and investigators to ensure that all relevant data is captured. Search on to find top-rated site investigators in your city anywhere in the UK. You can filter by category to find structural engineers, site investigators, drilling contractors or consulting engineers that best suit your project. Many of these companies also carry out earthworks, laboratory testing and ground stabilisation services.

What is a site investigation report?

A site investigation report determines the underground properties of a proposed site or location. A site investigation is undertaken to examine and obtain information about the ground and groundwater conditions beneath a site. The site investigation report should make recommendations and communicate measures to be taken concerning the site’s foundation design, any presence of radiation, water issues and drainage concerns that may cause instability to the foundations of the site.

Can I start to dig footing before the site investigation?

Undertaking a site investigation before you start digging can save you thousands of pounds in the long run, as problems may be found at a later stage. Contact a site investigator to help you conduct some trial digs or trial pits so you can survey your site before a full investigation takes place.

A trial pit will help you determine the strength of your foundation, can assist in your budgeting and time allocation as well as help you prepare for any unexpected issues that may arise.

How much time do we need for a site investigation?

A site investigation can take up to several weeks at a time. This will depend on how big your site is, how old the property is, what it was used for historically and what you are investigating for. Some people choose to employ multiple investigation crews at the site at a time to accelerate the procedure.