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Last edited 20 May 2017

Hydraulically treated soils in residential construction (BR 513)

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

On 5 April 2017, BRE published Hydraulically treated soils in residential construction (BR 513) written by John Kennedy and Julie Bregulla.

BR 513.jpg

The 58 page publication focuses on soil treatment for residential construction, providing information on the technical issues to be considered when considering the use of soil treatment.

The soil treatment described in the guide refers to the process of using lime, cement, ground granulated blastfurnace slag (ggbs) and coal fly ash to render mainly wet natural or reworked natural soils suitable for use as engineered fill. Typically, the treatment alters the properties of the soil by removing free or excess water so that it can support foundations, ground floors, services and other infrastructure without excessive deformation.

Soil treatment has been a common process in road and airport construction in the UK since the 1970s, but its use in residential applications has been relatively limited.

BR 513 will help to inform developers, engineers and other building professionals wanting to learn more about soil treatment and its application, and suggests a regime of validation and testing to review the suitability and appropriateness of the technique.

The processes described use the traditional technique of in situ soil treatment to produce successive horizontal layers of treated soil. Other techniques that use deep column mixing or injection techniques applied vertically are not covered.

The contents of the guide include:

  • Glossary
  • Part 1: Introduction
  1. Overview
  2. Background
  3. Purpose and objectives
  1. History
  2. The basis of soil treatment
  3. Current guidance and specifications for soil treatment in highways
  4. Experience of hydraulically treated fill for housing
  • Part 3: Design
  1. Overview
  2. Soils and treating agents: suitability and compatibility
  3. Suggested design protocol for housing
  4. Suggested laboratory design process for housing
  • Part 4: Realisation in the field
  1. Site investigation to establish soil characteristics and suitability
  2. Construction
  3. Laboratory mixture design
  4. Construction control
  5. Verification of treatment
  6. Ancillaries
  7. References and bibliography
  • Part 5: Appendices
  1. Hydraulically treated soil projects where expansion occurred
  2. Highways England protocol for soil treatment
  3. Actual use of hydraulically treated soil under house foundations
  4. Performance properties for hydraulically treated soils

--BRE Group

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