The Importance of a Site Investigation When Starting a New Construction

Posted on Jul 20 2020 - 4:12pm by Housecall
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By Anita Ginsburg

A site investigation is part of the planning stage of any urban development project. It involves a geotechnical engineer looking at the soil composition of the area and the strength of the soil and rock there, as well as some other characteristics that could affect construction or building safety.

Related: 4 Things Homebuyers Should Know About New Construction Homes

It's essential to conduct a thorough site investigation prior to any construction. There are several reasons for doing a site investigation. Here are a few:

Minimizes Damage

If you construct your home on a problematic ground, you'll likely experience damage in the future. That may be due to a weak foundation that may not sustain the weight of your home or the pressure of the ground around the foundation. A suitable foundation designed to withstand the environment will work to protect your home.

That makes it essential to have a geotechnical engineer check your site before the foundation is designed. They'll help identify any risks of constructing at the site, which can help find the best solution. This may be using a specific design, materials or treatments, or it may mean finding a more suitable location.

Saves on Costs

One of the best ways to make a site suitable for construction is treating the soil. Therefore, a site investigation helps to determine whether there's a need to treat the ground. If there is, then several landowners within that may come together to put resources into the treatment. By doing it as a group, this will reduce the costs that a single developer would have spent treating the soil.

Also, treating the ground helps save the money that would have gotten lost should the construction have continued and complications realized later on. That includes keeping the maintenance costs that result from weak foundations low.

Helps Determine the Construction Materials

A site investigation helps to determine the most suitable materials to use in construction. Some materials may not hold onto certain soils for long, which means cracks on the walls or even floors may appear not long after construction is finished.

Therefore, there's a need to check the soil and decide what material will be best for construction. An engineer will help to determine this when the results for the soil test are out. Also, they'll determine how suitable it is to continue with the project generally.

Increases the Safety of the Project

One of the most important reasons why a site investigation is essential is to help determine how safe it is to move forward with your project. Constructing on certain soils may pose a threat to the workers and the existing buildings nearby. To avoid any legal implications, conduct a site investigation with a qualified professional.

The importance of a site investigation cannot be stressed enough. It helps to determine several aspects of a project, which include lowering costs and improving safety. Every developer should consider undertaking a site investigation for their next project.

Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. When you’re planning a new construction or development project, she recommends contacting a geotechnical engineer for a site investigation. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.