Site Investigation
Site Investigation
Site Investigation
Site Investigation
Site Investigation

ENGINEERING GEOLOGISTS

GEOTECHNICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SITE INVESTIGATIONS

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Geocon Site Investigations are geotechnical environmental consultants

We are ground investigation contractors providing site investigsation services to our clients for over a decade.

Our core business is the design and execution of site investigations and the provision of geotechnical and contaminated land risk assessment reports.

We provide specialist services to the environmental and geotechnical industry across a variety of sectors including but not limited to, property and commercial building development; due diligence, land sale & acquisition; infrastructure (pipelines, highways, bridges, tunnels), rail, renewables and flood defence.  Our core services are listed below.

Established in 2007, GeoCon have provided our expert services to clients across the UK on thousands of sites. Our highly professional team of consultants and contractors specialise in environmental & geotechnical (geoenvironmental) site investigations projects within the construction and civil engineering industry, with a focus on environmental consultancy, ground engineering and engineering geology for Brownfield and Greenfield land.

  • Fully Accredited
    GeoCon are accredited members of the AGS, BGA, Builders Profile, CHAS & SSIP, Constructionline, CSCS Platinum, RISQS, Safe Contractor and SMAS. We are also fully audited and accredited with ISO 9001, 14001, & OHSAS 18001.
  • Expert Service
    GeoCon specialise in Environmental Consultancy, Geotechnical Consultancy, Ground Engineering and Engineering Geology focusing on site investigation within the contaminated land and geotechnical divisions of the civil engineering, construction and development industry. GeoCon provide services for projects of all sizes.
  • Precise Reporting
    Our team of highly skilled consultants, ensure all projects are delivered both technically accurate, on time and within budget. Contact us today to find out how GeoCon can help.
  • Nationwide Coverage
    GeoCon Site Investigations have seven regional offices located in London (two locations), Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, with our head office located in Manchester.

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    Our Core Services

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    WHAT IS SITE INVESTIGATION?

    Site Investigation is the process of investigating land or property primarily for contamination or to determine the geotechnical properties of the underlying soils and rock to facilitate foundation and substructure design. With respect to contaminated land, there are four phases of the site investigation process which are normally required as part of a planning condition with respect to a proposed development which include Phase I Preliminary Risk Assessment, Phase II Site Investigation, Phase III Remediation and Phase IV Validation. As a minimum a Phase I is normally required as a planning condition imposed by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).
    With regards the geotechnical aspect, this is not normally required under planning although can be requested by building control, and is carried out as part of a comprehensive site investigation to provide accurate and reliable geotechnical information to support foundation and substructure design.

    Why is Site Investigation Necessary?

    Site investigation is an integral part of the construction process and it allows developers, contractors civil and structural engineers, to manage and mitigate risks associated with their site in relation to contaminated land and geotechnical risk. The purpose of a site investigation is to determine both the presence, type and nature of contamination that may affect human health, and the wider environment, and to determine the engineering properties of the land and the underlying soils and rock to determine the correct choice of foundations. With this information, our clients can then manage their costs and risks successfully to make informed choices on the methods of construction to make the site suitable for use and structurally sound from the ground up.
    An insight to the different phases of site investigation and other investigation services offered is provided below. For more detailed information on each of our core services please follow the link to the relevant page.

    Site Investigation Overview

    1

    Phase 1 Site Investigation

    Phase 1 – Site Investigation, Desk Studies or Preliminary Risk Assessments. This is the minimum requirement for a developer under the planning process and some sites (typically green field sites or sites with very limited previous development) can be dealt with by a Phase I alone without the need for any further work. In this phase, a Conceptual Site Model (CSM) is created to identify pollutant linkages via source pathway and receptor to establish any potential risks from contamination with respect to human health, groundwater and the wider environment. With the CSM a detailed preliminary assessment of a sites environmental setting can be established.

    The aim of the CSM is to present data clearly to provide support when in relation to the management and mitigation of contaminated land or groundwater. Once a CSM has been prepared, any gaps or uncertainties in the information will become apparent and can then be considered with respect to further work i.e. Phase II Site Investigation.

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    2

    Phase 2 Site Investigation

    Phase 2 Site investigation. Following on from the findings of a Phase I Preliminary Risk Assessment, typically most sites will require further work subject to the proposed end use. This phase involves intrusive investigation of a site with subsequent chemical sampling and analysis to determine whether or not any contamination is present beneath the site (typically associated with Made Ground and or former site users both on and off site). Advice is then provided with regards the contaminated status of the site with recommendation as to how to manage and deal with any contamination present. The CSM would then be updated to reflect the latest progress of the site investigation process. The ideal Phase 2 Site Investigation would be designed to collect information for the whole site to reduce the need for further investigations. However, on a site that varies widely or has significant levels of contamination further investigations may be required.
    Additional site investigation is occasionally required as part of a detailed Phase II site investigation where further, more detail targeted site investigation is required. There can be a number of reasons for this such as poor ground conditions requiring deeper boreholes to facilitate pile design; unexpected areas of contamination or significant levels of contamination that may require further sampling, analysis and delineation. Like the initial phase II site investigation, additional works are generally intrusive, and exploratory holes would be spaced on a closer grid and be targeted to investigate specific features across the site. By increasing the density of testing areas, a more detailed picture of the site can be built up. This is particularly good for sites that have large variations in the composition of the ground. Further tests on the soils extracted will show the chemical composition of the soils and will give an indication of the type and volume of remediation required ultimately allowing our clients to manage the costs of this process.

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    3

    Phase 3 & Phase 4 Site Investigation

    Phase 3 Remediation. Following the results of the Phase II Site Investigation, some sites will be deemed contaminated with respect to the proposed end use and therefore require remediation to make the site suitable for use. Whilst GeoCon are not a remediation contractor, we do provide advice on how to remediate the site. GeoCon prepare remediation strategies (remediation statements) which are then used as a document to advise on the most appropriate method of remedial action.

    Phase 4 Validation. If a site is deemed contaminated and remediation is required, GeoCon offer validation support whereby our team of environmental consultants will validate all works to provide evidence to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to confirm that the remediation activities have been carried out correctly and in accordance with the remediation strategy. This is typically via a watching brief, sampling and analysis and provision of a validation report which would include records and photographic evidence to support the process. On complex sites or with respect to groundwater contamination alternative methods would be used.

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    4

    Ground Investigation

    Ground Investigation is necessary where geotechnical information is required to provide civil, structural and geotechnical design engineers with precise data and information relating to the ground conditions, groundwater levels, soils and rock horizons, is collected to provide engineering parameters to facilitate geotechnical design. Using a range of appropriate techniques specific to each site, GeoCon execute ground investigations for a wide range of clients and operate under a consultant and contractor capacity subject to individual client requirements and type of project.

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    5

    Coal Mining Risk Assessment

    Coal Mining Risk Assessments are carried out in specific regions of the UK to assess the risk from former shallow coal mining in relation to a development of construction project. GeoCon offer two levels of Coal Mining Risk Assessment, initially a Preliminary Coal Mining Risk Assessment is carried out by collating a range of data and information to establish the risks posed by historic coal mining, and when required an Intrusive Coal Mining Risk Assessment is then executed to investigate any potential risks identified during the Preliminary Coal Mining Risk Assessment. Risks are typically posed by shallow coal seams within influencing depth that have bene worked at some point in the past where voids have the potential to cause structural failure via settlement and or collapse of overlying strata, and from former untreated mine entries which are either left open or poorly backfilled with loose materials again having the potential to cause structural failure via settlement and or collapse of overlying strata. Risks can also be present from hazardous ground gasses.

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    6

    Soakaway Testing

    Soakaway testing, often referred to as percolation testing or infiltration testing, is carried out to support sustainable drainage design for a development or construction project, whereby under current legislation surface water should be discharged in a sustainable manner to reduce the impact on existing sewage systems which in some cases can be over a hundred years old and originally were not designed to meet the demands of todays population and housing increase. Soakaway testing is carried out in accordance with current guidance to provide infiltrations rates to allow drainage engineers to design soakaways for new building and construction projects.

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    Geocon Site Investigations have been essential for getting my development completed in time, their quick turn around time and precise reporting, support and experience has been a real help, I look forward to working with them on the next project..
    - Bill Jones, MD NW Properties

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