A Draining Holiday?

It’s the holiday season and, if you’re about to head off for a week or two of bliss in the sunshine with the family, spare a thought for our field services teams. When we asked them if they fancied a midweek stay in a caravan park, they jumped at the chance. We might have omitted to tell them that they’d be busy all day completing soakaway testing for an extension to the caravan park.

Being the good sports that they are they completed four tests, all in accordance with BRE365, and our detailed report was issued to the client the following day.

Making a Splash

With warmer weather arriving, we received a timely request from Micasa to assist them with the design and construction of a swimming pool for a residential client. All in a day’s work for our Terrier drill rig, which is particularly suited to this work, having a small footprint and being able to pass through a standard doorway. The only problem: our site team were left imagining taking a refreshing dip in the pool, which won’t be completed for a few months yet.

A Rig (or Two) and a Prayer

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It’s not often we have two of our rigs working on the same site together, but this week we needed to do just that.
Our client had originally requested a plate bearing test to determine the bearing capacity of the underlying geology for a new extension to their mosque.
We advised that a plate bearing tests was not the right test. Instead , using our Geoprobe DirectPush and Terrier percussive drill rigs, we were able to complete soil sampling, dynamic probing and SPTs in the chalk underlying the site. These data then allowed us calculate the ultimate bearing capacity for future foundation design.

If This Doesn’t take the Daffodil….

A recent project in Wales saw us drilling through Coal Measures. We encountered mudstone, ironstone, siltstone, sandstone, claystone and, of course, coal….all in a single day. This didn’t stop us achieving 100% core recovery and 20m+ coring a day, all with full gas monitoring.

For more information or to get a quote for us to drill your site (it doesn’t have to be in Wales!) please contact Angus Gale – 0774 8358304

Fame and Fortune

The APEA recently featured an interview with our very own James Edley. If you’d like to read James’ view on recent developments in the world of geo-environmental consultancy then please click on this link.

Practical (Geotechnical) Magic

We were called to the rescue of a local home owner recently. They had been told, by both Building Control and their builder, that they needed to make substantial improvements to their existing foundations in order to be able to add a first floor extension to their property. The existing foundations had been signed off by Building Control, a number of years previously, but were considered insufficiently deep and wide to support the additional loads of the proposed extension.

To add to the problem, the existing foundations were off-set from the line of the existing walls, but there was no indication to suggest they would be inadequate. When we asked what information Building Control had used to reach their conclusion all we got in response was ‘it’s just not what we usually see’. We thought we could (and should) do a little better than that…

Given our knowledge of the local geology, we knew the property was likely to sit directly onto the bedrock chalk, which being ‘rock’ is usually pretty strong (maybe the clue is in the name?). We carried out some low-cost field tests adjacent to the existing foundations and used these data to complete an evidence-based geotechnical design. We then worked with the project’s structural engineer to confirm that the existing foundations were more than adequate to support the new loads.

The cost of carrying out the testing and subsequent report was less than 10% of the cost of the previously proposed ‘necessary improvement works’. Not only that, they yielded a significant time saving. A win the for the client and a win for us – sometimes it’s just nice to be on the right side of common sense.

Pot of Gold

They say there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

We aren’t sure our Geoprobe drillrig qualifies as that, but we liked the photo and thought we’d share it.

We Never Sleep

The nights are drawing in and daylight is at a premium. This can limit the hours available for sitework. Or rather it could until recently. We’ve just completed a four week long refit and refurbishment of our drill rigs. This has included fitting task lighting ensuring that we can work long into the night – or even all night of the job requires it.

For more information please contact Angus Gale – 07748358304

Hedging Your Bets?

Can You Spot Our Drill Rig?

When a client rang and said they needed boreholes in a densely overgrown area, located up a high-sided kerb behind some hedges, we knew we had just the drill rig for the job. After checking for below-ground utilities, we completed seven boreholes locations to 4m depth in a single day. Naturally, we left the site clean and tidy, with a happy client.

Hollow Stem Augers

Up Close and Personal – The Business End of a Hollow Stem Auger

The site investigation industry has, traditionally, relied on light cable percussion (generally known as shell and auger) drilling. This is slow, messy and crude providing low quality geotechnical and environmental samples at best. Thankfully, these days it isn’t the only option available to you.
The majority of our general site investigation drilling is done using hollow stem rotary methods. These provide signficantly better quality data with minimal sample disturbance, even in the toughest of conditions. This week we were working at a site underlain by glacial and millstone grit cobbles, sand and terrace gravels in a sandy clay matrix.  We drilled five boreholes to their target depth on 8m in one working day – something that might have taken a shell and auger crew a week – minimising the disruption to our client’s business which was able to remain open throughout.