Site Investigation and Soil Classification

When establishing site viability, the geotechnical report will help determine how the site is to be classified and assessed for either:

  • You need to know the scope of the geotechnical report in order to assess its impact and convey the results to structural engineers, architects, and the construction team. This report is a summary of the information gleaned from site examination conducted by the geotechnical engineer. Samples from site will be tested, and results conveyed include:Geotechnical features that impact development
  • Suitability of the site for use (eg, restricted through the presence of contaminants)


  • Summary of subsurface soil profile
  • Interpretation of results
  • Discussion of potential solutions to problems found or anticipated
  • Specific engineering recommendations for design

The importance of the geotechnical report should not be underestimated, not only for design and construction requirements but also for protection after the event. Claims associated with structural problems against builders and architects can be immediately tackled with a clear and concise geotechnical report.

Site investigation is necessary for cost effectiveness of the project, and for this reason it is commonplace to conduct a preliminary geotechnical report as a first look at site viability for design and construction. Generally your final geotechnical report will follow on from where design has progressed to specific recommendations mad in light of the geotechnical aspects of the site.

Excavated materials will be classified as virgin excavated natural material, excavated natural material, or waste, and will impact the types of construction possible on site. Waste materials come in several classifications including:

  • special waste (such as asbestos or clinical waste)
  • liquid waste
  • hazardous waste (such as explosives and toxic substances)
  • general waste (such as paper and cardboard, and household waste)

Only after the production of a geotechnical report can you produce a Remedial Action Plan (RAP). This is often required when redeveloping industrial land for residential use, for example.

A RAP will be followed by the issuance of a Site Clearance Certificate or Validation Certificate: this is issued by an environmental engineer and confirm that the RAP has been adhered to.

Irrespective of the size of your organisation, you will need to produce and use geotechnical reports, investigating sites and classifying as to future use. Understanding geotechnical aspects, the requirements of geotechnical reports, and how they impact site use and maintenance will help you correctly classify sites and plan projects appropriately. Blueprint CPD will help you attain the required capability in this area, with CPD points confirming your expertise.