What is a Site Investigation?
A site investigation, also called geotechnical investigation, is done by taking ground samples for analysis and creating a detailed report of findings and recommendations for the site. It is crucial in helping engineers identify hazards and risks to be mitigated before a construction project begins and determine if a location is ideal for planned development.
Aside from determining suitability for construction, a site investigation helps engineers come up with safe and economical building plans appropriate for the area. It’s also useful in long-term planning because it helps foresee natural or human-made changes and determines corrosivity caused by groundwater conditions.
This article will briefly discuss (1) what hazards to look out for when conducting a site investigation; (2) technology for convenient data gathering at the site; and (3) provide free site investigation templates you can download, customize, and use.
Click here for the Top 3 Site Investigation Templates
Common Hazards and Risks Uncovered by Site Investigations
Site investigations aim to identify and address hazards and risks that can impact the project and cause problems for its stakeholders. Here are some common hazards that engineers should look out for during site investigations.
- Possible soil oversaturation (too much water) or undersaturation (too dry) can cause foundation issues in the future if not discovered and mitigated.
- Engineers should be aware if a site is near an active fault line so that the structure can be built to withstand projected earthquake magnitudes.
- Structural hazards from demolished or nearby old structures should be considered while investigating the site.
- Natural and manmade disasters that may have rendered a site inhabitable should be checked and mentioned on the geotechnical report.
- Take samples for lab testing to determine if there are chemical hazards in the soil or underground water due to contamination caused by nearby agricultural, manufacturing, or mining activity, among others.
- Demolished old structures near a site need to be tested for traces of asbestos.
- Soil and water samples taken from the site will help determine if nearby industries may have caused biological hazards.
- Consider former landfills and waste treatment in the area when checking the site for biological hazards.
Environmental and Social hazards
- Consider the project’s impact to the environment’s flora and fauna. Assess the environmental risk to help avoid future issues.
- Be aware of social risks particularly in high-density urban sites or indigenous territories. Consult the government and local stakeholders on the possible social impact to and by the project.
Technology for Data Capture During Geotechnical Investigations
With the diversity and huge amount of information to capture during site investigations, it is beneficial to take advantage of technology that can help make data capture easier. iAuditor, the world’s most powerful mobile inspection app, can help engineers conveniently record information anytime, even in remote sites.
• Works on iPad, iPhone, and Android; iAuditor works even in remote sites
• iAuditor automatically saves data and synchronizes them whenever you are online
✔ Unlimited photos
• Take unlimited photos using your mobile device to include in geotechnical reports
• Annotate images to better explain the story
• iAuditor has text fields so you can easily enter notes for your geotechnical reports
• iAuditor templates can be set up to have preset response sets, allowing you to create specific questions for site investigations
✔ Organized and secure
• iAuditor secures data in the cloud and can be accessed on a mobile device or desktop
• Electronically share templates with your team
• Submit geotechnical reports via web reports or PDF documents
• iAuditor is GPS-enabled and captures longitude and latitude data for location accuracy
• iAuditor’s analytics tool can help analyze real-time data and provide insights on site investigations
• Easily identify which site investigations were conducted in particular locations