Soil Testing – what is it and why do I need it?

6th August 2021

What is a soil test?

Soil tests determine the density, moisture and the composition of the soil (e.g., clay, sand, rock). Soil tests are used for a variety of reasons, some of the most common reasons to undertake a soil test is to determine best practice when building in that area and to determine soil health for crops/pasture. At Structerre, our soil tests are performed by our geotechnical engineers who have all the necessary equipment to conduct a soil sample, soil is taken from multiple depths to determine the most accurate composition.

Why do I need a soil test?

Soil tests are needed before commencing a building project as it determines the type of slab and foundation that must be used. Some soil types such as ones with a lot of moisture require a much stronger slab than more balanced soil types, difficult areas cost more to build on due to the need for a stronger foundation. Soil tests also determine the weight that the soil can support. Our geotechnical engineers will determine the necessary foundations for you and help with all necessary reports and planning.

Soil Testing Mini Rig

Soil classifications and what they mean:

  • A Class – Often rock or sand-based, there is little to no movement on these sites.
  • S Class – Often a slightly reactive clay-based site, there may be slight movement due to changes in moisture.
  • M Class – Often a moderately reactive clay-based site, there is likely to be some movement due to changes in moisture.
  • H Class – Often a highly reactive clay-based site, there is likely to be a lot of movement due to changes in moisture.
  • E Class – Often an extremely reactive clay-based site, there will be a lot of movement due to changes in moisture.
  • P Class – A ‘Problem’ site. Usually made up of soft soils, loose sands, collapsing soils, erosion and abnormal moisture conditions.

As you move down the classes, the slab and reinforcement requirements become increasingly complex. Luckily, Structerre has solutions for any site, regardless of difficulty.

Contact Structerre for your soil testing and geotechnical engineering needs. Structerre performs particle size distribution, Atterberg and liquid limit testing, sand-pad suitability and compaction control of fill materials. Structerre satisfies council requirements and speeds up the building process with fast turnaround times and mobilisation to site.

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