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.

Airplanes Stopped Play

Another post discussing the joys of working at a busy airport. This time we were asked to advise on the allowable bearing capacity for a foundation to be installed at 2m depth, without either excavating a trial pit of drilling a borehole.

We opted to carry out a series of dynamic probes, using our lightweight terrier drill rig, along the line of excavation, using the data to calculate an equivalent SPT ‘N’value and thence an allowable bearing capacity. We were able to provide our client with results in real time, ensuuring there were no delays to the construction programme.

Earth, Wind and Fire…mostly Fire

After the Fire
After the Fire

It’s never good when your business premises are reduced to ash in a raging inferno. But this was just the scenario faced by one of our clients, when their car showr0om and repair workshop has burnt down overnight.

We were on hand the next day, working closely with both the fire brigade and the demolition crew. We were able to obtain the vital geotechnical data necessary to allow design for the new buildings to progress.
Here you can see our Terrier rig taking soil samples and completing in situ standard penetration tests and dynamic probes to depths of up to 15m.

Now the flames have died out, the demolition has been completed and the new structure has been designed. Our client is well on the way to be back in business.

White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover

We were commissioned to carry out a geotechnical investigation, including rock coring, at a site located just a stone’s throw from  the busy harbour of Dover.

Our Commachio 205 and drilling crew were able to produce high quality cores and gain SPT/CPT data from 4 boreholes, each drilled to a depth of 20m below ground level. All completed on time and on budget.

Voids were encountered at various depths fueling rumours of secret smuggling tunnels similar to those we found in Margate last year. Unfortunately the only treasure recovered were metres and metres of chalk. Better luck next time lads!

Machu Pichu

alma roadOK so not exactly Peru, but a very steep, terraced site in the Chilterns.

The extremely tight access didn’t prevent our site team from getting in and completing a comprehensive geotechnical investigation, including soil sampling and dynamic probing to 10m depth. The work was completed on time and on budget, with dynamic probing data issued to the client on a ‘same day’ basis to assist with pile design.

Probing the Depths – Part Two

The headline “ground swallows car” sounds as if it comes straight out of a Hollywood horror film. But it is actually surprisingly common in areas with either chalk or limestone geology or with a history of mining (which could be for clay or salt as well as for coal).

If you are considering constructing foundations you may wish to consider commissioning us to ‘pile probe’ the area first. Not only will this identify shallow obstructions but it will identify swallow holes, solution features and abandoned underground workings such as the ones that caused this:

Ground Swallows Car

Tight Deadlines?

Tight Acquisition Deadline?

Sometimes you need a detailed ground investigation with large numbers of boreholes, utilising a variety of different investigation tools (drill rigs, plate bearing tests, pile probing etc), with data collected and assimilated over a period of days or even weeks, that delivers a detailed description of site geology and provides a well defined contaminant delineation.We can do this for you.

However, sometimes you need a basic no frills contamination survey that is both cost effective and done on a very fast turnaround.Here at Subadra we own and operate our own survey team, drill rigs, chemical analysis laboratory in addition to our team of highly skilled geotechnical and environmental consultants that are responsible for collating, assessing and the reporting the data we produce. This means we can carry out high quality, cost effective Phase One and Two contamination surveys within days.This service proves invaluable for may of out clients who are always on the lookout to purchase new sites to add to their portfolio and don’t want to lose out on a lucrative deal or, perhaps worse, get caught out by discovering contamination issues after the site has been purchased.

We recently carried out a survey at a filling station site in Hampshire that was instructed on a Friday at 4pm and we had carried out a below ground utilities survey, borehole investigation, groundwater monitoring and sampling, all analysis and data reported to the client by the following Thursday. Now how does that compare with the service you currently receive from your consultant?
Contract value: £4.5k

Mother’s Ruin – Piling Probing at Bombay Sapphire’s New Gin Distillery

The Bombay Spirits Company are building a new gin distillery and visitors’ centre on the site of an old paper mill in Laverstoke, Hampshire.
The mill is registered by English Heritage and is considered of significant historical importance; during the first half of the century the site held the license to print money for the Bank of England. Wherever possible existing buildings are being retained and restored to their former glory. However, the mill was first established on the site in the early 1700s so many of the buildings need some serious TLC before they can again become usable. This includes improvements to foundations in some cases.
Subadra were called in to assist in the redevelopment, Project Manta, as a specialist in ground conditions and foundations to carry out pile probing around the perimeter and inside of one of the old mill buildings located on the banks of the River Test, which flows through the centre of the site.
We probed 25 locations in a single day using one of our highly manoeuvrable tracked drilling rigs, which proved perfect for the job. We identified shallow obstructions at several locations, allowing the project engineers to revise their piling plan and ultimately reduce costs and delays to the foundation improvement works.

Gin Distillery

We then carried out plate bearing tests, prior to piling, to confirm the surface soils could provide a suitable platform for the piling rig.

Plate Bearing Tests for Wind Turbines

Concrete Base for Turbine Tower

SSE Renewables, in partnership with the Port of Tilbury, is installing four wind turbines at Tilbury Port in Essex.  The project is currently under construction. Once complete, their wind power will provide 50% of the Port’s energy needs. But late on Wednesday the project ran into problems. No plate bearing tests had been carried out to assess the stability of the outriggers of the giant crane that would lift the turbine nacelle and blades into place. We were contacted at 1pm the following day and were on site within 2 hours. We completed plate bearing tests at each crane location and by the time we left site at 8.30pm the first crane was moving into position, the project back on track.

For more information or to arrange plate bearing testing, please contact Duncan Eastland Tel. 01296 739431

Pile Probing Record Smashed

Tom joins the 100ft club

Tom Petzing, one of our Geoprobe operators, last week smashed our long-held drilling record completing 218m (yes, that really is two hundred and eighteen metres) of pile probing in a single day. The deepest location was probed to a depth of 32.4m, or 106ft in old money, which means that Tom joins our Managing Director as a member of the elite Geoprobe 100ft club. Well done Tom, the t-shirt is in the post!