How to avoid nasty ground conditions surprises

27th June 2022


Do you want a bit of steer on ground conditions when looking at new sites? 

If the answer to the above is yes, then please visit our website and buy an Anticipated Ground Conditions Sheet.  

Anticipated Ground Conditions Sheet 

If you are unsure, please read on.  

It has been a recent mission of ours to engage with developers earlier, to ensure that in ground risks are highlighted sooner, so they can be adequately investigated and sustainable sorted out, before it becomes too late.  

Why? We want to make sure that you get the best out of the ground. Get the most sustainable foundation design, the correct drainage information and design, the best design for your roads/hardstandings. We want you to have the most cost effective and sustainable way of dealing with contamination issues, soil, ground-gas and waste.  

One of the difficulties we face is that the budgets for some of these items may differ from what is realistically required, due to assumptions/educated guesses being initially wrong.  

So how do Anticipated Ground Condition sheets help?  

We will review geological maps and records, internally held information, and other data to give you our best expert advice on what you are likely to find, and what you in-ground positives and negatives are likely to be.  

For the small fee of £300 ex VAT (don’t worry about site size) this will give you an early HEADS UP, which you can start to address as part of any SI works/liaise with engineers over, but can also properly plan for in negotiations at purchase and budgeting stage.  

It can only be a good thing that (the following are all recent real-world examples with clients) 

A site which just may well be ok is identified. Good founding materials, which drains, and has limited contamination sources.  

A site next to a gassing landfill is highlighted at purchase level.  

A site which is an historic laundry and on a principal aquifer, with no budget for DQRA (yet), is highlighted and amendments made.   

A site which is located within an area of high chalk dissolution risk, with no thought to mitigating such risks in budget, is discovered and adaptions made.   

A slight adaption to this service is when clients have an initial screening SI brought with a site. It is perfectly ok to buy an Anticipated Ground Condition sheet and forward the SI, so that a one page review can be formulated (executive summary) with any gaps highlighted.  

It can only be a good thing that (another recent real-world example with a client of ours) a site where conflicting information on shallow groundwater levels is highlighted so that its potential effect on the drainage design can be properly managed.   

These AGC don’t constitute and proper risk assessment, but could well be very useful in highlighting in-ground risks before they become troublesome, costly and delay causing. 

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