3 Types Of Project Where Geotechnical Site Investigations Are Needed

by | Aug 21, 2020

The sheer range of projects which require an initial geotechnical site investigation is astounding. If you’re planning any kind of construction, remediation or structural alterations, the chances are you’ll need to carry out a geotechnical site investigation beforehand. With that in mind, the team at Borehole Solutions wanted to look at three examples where ground investigations are needed. Ones that you might not have necessarily thought about, previously.

New Roads

With almost 250,000 miles of paved roads in the UK (as of 2019), it’s fair to say that we’re fairly reliant on our roads. So much of the British economy hinges on logistics and timely movement of goods. A huge part of that is contingent on roads being up to standard. After all, you don’t notice the roads until potholes start cropping up, or major roadworks are taking place, and then you realise just how reliant on them we are.

Without a thorough geotechnical site investigation, roads are at the risk of slips, potholes or at its most dramatic, a sinkhole. These problems are easily avoided if you’ve given yourself a full picture of the ground characteristics.

Sea Defences


As an island nation, our coastlines are very much at the whim of the elements, and geology of certain coastlines. That lose huge swathes to the sea every year. In fact, in some places (in the North-East, in particular) there’s an erosion rate of around 2 metres per year. Because of this fact, huge amounts of money is funnelled into constructing and maintaining coastal defences such as sea walls.

There’s very little room for error when it comes to constructing these kinds of structures. So contractors need to be absolutely certain as to the underlying geology and ground conditions before they carry out any work. That’s why a geotechnical site investigation is so imperative in this scenario. To prove that the ground conditions and geological strata are appropriate for the current (or planned) defences.

Here at Borehole Solutions, we carried out some investigative work in Dawlish, Devon, to test the integrity of their sea wall’s underlying geology. Using our smallest sonic drilling rig (so that we could easily lift it onto the sea wall in high tide), we carried out standard penetration testing (SPT) in difficult working conditions.

Basement Constructions


Space comes at a premium these days, especially if you live in urban settings. There’s a reason that skyscrapers ever came to be – it was cheaper to add floors than it was to buy surrounding square footage. Basements are another great way to get the most out of a space, whether that be personal or corporate. For businesses, basements can provide additional storage, or another shop floor. Whilst personal basements open up the possibility of additional bedrooms, games rooms, cinemas and more.

Constructing a basement often requires extensive excavation works. However any time where a large quantity of ground is being disturbed or moved in any way, a geotechnical site investigation should be carried out. This is to determine the site and the soil’s stability. Helping to clarify what appropriate foundation depths would be. As well as to examine the site’s slope conditions.

As a property owner, you don’t want to install an expensive basement, only to experience structural issues further down the line. It may seem like an unnecessary extra, but the reality is that geotechnical site investigations are crucial in ensuring the structural longevity of virtually any proposed project.

So, if you’d like to find out more about our firm, which offers a comprehensive and varied geotechnical site investigation service, then get in touch! Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200 501. Or visit our instagram to see images of our team and drills in action.