Last edited 14 Feb 2018

Soil report

Construction activities can have an adverse effect on soils and so its impacts need careful consideration as part of the development process. Local authorities may require a soil report as part of the planning application process.

A soil report is generally prepared by geotechnical engineers or civil engineers following a soil survey. It should provide an indication as to whether the site is suitable for the proposed construction, i.e. whether the soil and geological conditions will be able to provide the required support and stability. Consideration of the allowable soil bearing pressure and the possibilities of settlement is of particular importance.

The report may be incorporated into a Material Management Plan and Site Waste Management Plan. It can also be used by structural engineers to inform the choice of foundation design.

Some of the details that should be included in a soil report are:

  • Classification of the various types of soil encountered and a description of the characteristics.
  • A discussion of the potential for re-use of soils on site.
  • Recommendations for the handling and storage of soils on site.
  • Maps showing the locations of soils on site.
  • The geological history of the area.
  • Details of the sampling (e.g. borehole location, depth, soils encountered at each level).
  • Groundwater conditions.
  • Bearing capacity of the soil.
  • Chemical composition of the soil.
  • Seismic conditions prevalent in the area, if appropriate.
  • Recommendations for foundation design.

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