Why Have Soil Testing?
For The Protection of your Investment: For a small sum you can protect, possibly, the largest investment of your life. Without the right foundations, buildings can move and walls can crack. Why risk the expense for the cost of a soil test? Problems can be discovered prior to purchase or building. Being aware of any problems will enable you to determine future costs and help you to make vital decisions about the suitability of the land for building. This is a better alternative to finding problems after purchase of land or after building has commenced.
About Soil Testing: A Drill Rig and other equipment are used to collect information and samples at various levels on the site. Samples are taken to the laboratory for testing. A detailed report and summary of data is prepared. This is used by the engineer to design the foundations in accordance with Australian Standards. This design will match the site conditions, give you peace of mind yet will reduce the risk of over design thus saving you money.
More about Soil Testing: Soil Testing is an essential part of foundation design. Foundations are vital to the integrity of every structure being the interface with the soil or rock below. Soil has a variety of properties which can vary from place to place and from layer to layer even within the limits of the proposed structure. At times soil characteristics can change considerably within a small area. Weather, climatic changes, and site management can, in the future, affect the bearing qualities of the soil. Putting it simply, if the foundations are not designed to the carrying capacity of the soils then they will fail and so will the building.
Important design considerations are bearing capacity and settlement. Obviously the foundations must be able to support the considerable weight of the building. The soil or rock below must then bear the entire weight. Settlement may occur at different rates in different sections of the foundations. Other considerations include the ability of clay to shrink and swell with changes in moisture, eg from climatic changes, penetration of surface water or the effect of vegetation absorbing water. In Australia, various innovative foundation design techniques have been adopted to meet these challenges.
Important: Investigation of a site is limited due to economic constraints and is to be used to give a general indication of sub surface strata, its approximate surface movement and its capacity to bear the proposed construction. The design engineer should relate this report to the specific needs of the construction proposed for this site and seek further investigation if necessary.
Local Government Requirements: A soil test and report are necessary to meet local authority requirements for building approvals.