Site Investigation. (Civil Engineering)


What is Site Investigation?

Site Investigation means the various investigations that determine if the site will be suitable for its intended use based on structural, economical and environmental factors. Site Investigation is not limited to preliminary works alone. It is also undertaking to investigate defects, failure or safety of existing works.

Types of site investigation

Investigation of site for new works:

The investigation could involve determination of the overall suitability of the soil for the construction work.

The economical and environmental impact the proposed new works will have on existing infrastructure.

Proper preliminary site investigation will help determine the correct financial implications, material as well as equipment  necessary for a successful project.

Investigation of defects or failure of existing works.

This type of investigation may be  mandatory to establish cause of failure and provide remedy. For instance, in the case of a building collapse after several years, soil investigation may reveal reduction of the bearing capacity of the soil which may have been caused by changes in level of ground water.

Investigation of the safety of existing works.

When proposed new works are being planned, it will be necessary to assess the impact it will have on existing works or infrastructure. Structurally, situations that may be investigated are;

Will excavation reduce ground support of the existing structure or not?

Will groundwater lowering cause settlement.?

Will  disturbed drainage cause flooding or instability to the existing structures?

Environmentally, situations that may be investigated include impact of noise and waste that will be  generated by the proposed structure.

This type of investigation is not only limited to preconstruction it is also necessary after construction and during use of the structure.

Investigation as to the suitability and availability of materials for construction.

If the soil material on site is to be used for construction works,  support structure or both, then its suitability must be determined.

This is usually done by visual inspection and standardized tests.

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