Conducting a soil investigation before any new construction project or deciding on land purchase is always considered a priority.
This importance still varies and depends on many factors, mainly related to how much the project owners are knowledgeable in these critical matters, the availability of the updated code of building requirements of the building permit authorities, and sometimes the project nature or importance.
Unfortunately, new construction permit authorities in some countries are flexible and accept mid-rise buildings without soil investigation. In contrast, others may not obtain a building permit for a small house extension without an up-to-date soil investigation report.
It’s always encouraged and highly advised to count the soil investigation’s with its simple cost and time compared to the total project budget and period. It is always worth it to prevent an expected failure to the project structure if any soil or under foundation required an earlier specific improvement.
From my international experience work in this field, I am briefing below three real stories that prove the necessity of conducting earlier soil investigation before any project decisions,
- A landowner in IRAQ decided on a five-story commercial building; he avoided the soil investigation to reduce budget and time and was wrongly advised to use nearby area previous report as reference. (Which is not acceptable by code due to location differences and old time of the reference report) . After completing his concrete structure and reaching the third floor only, a partial settlement on one side of the facility was very noticeable. One of two solutions he had the first to demolish all structures and improve the soil and start again, the second to satisfy with only two stories with some design changes, and both were visibility not worthy.
- In UAE, the government used to distribute lands to locals to build their houses. The landowner decides to use his adjusted neighbor soil investigation report as part of the building permit requirements. The municipality rejected the report. He conducted a new soil investigation to his site that shows it was a construction damped and need over five meters depths of costly soil replacement; luckily, he managed to change the land, based on the new report outcome.
- In Canada, a group of investors decided to buy land to build a townhouses project; their buying terms were conditional on soil investigation. The finding was a demolished hotel in this site in the early 60th and used an underground oil tank for heating. It seems the soil was heavily contaminated and require a budget to replace more than the land price itself; the deal was canceled, and investors were saved.
It’s important to share experience in simple discussions or publications to raise community awareness of the importance of conducting a comprehensive soil investigation before starting any construction project and use it as a conditional term at any proposed offer for new land purchase.
Urban Reform - April 10, 2021
URC has witnessed through our Geo -Engineeing business many developers and investors in Ontario were involved in buying a land that require soil improvement and management with cost and time out of their budgetary plans because they ignored the soil investigation before closing the purchase.
Engr.Ahkam Al Taee - April 13, 2021
Thank you Engr. Mustafa ,Nice report , It was famous saying ” Inspect today and do not repair tomorrow” and that your above subject says.