Soil samples - whaaat?!

I promised our Cool Buildings founder Jon that we’d write a new blog this week on soil samples. He has, in turn, promised not to get too technical or geeky about it and to explain the process properly in layman’s terms. I mean, seriously, who on earth wants to read a blog about soil samples?!

But, they are actually an integral part of a Cool Buildings build, and I did promise…

Ok, so Jon — what is a soil sample and what does it have to do with our clients’ beautiful new home extensions?

Jon Pay, co-founder of Cool Buildings:

“The main purpose of soil investigations is to determine the type of ground, its bearing capacity and the position of the water table. After all, we want to ensure your new Cool Building is built on a sound foundation!!

The easiest method is to hand-dig a trial pit and then undertake visual inspections and if necessary, send away samples for laboratory testing.”

This sounds messy and intrusive? 

“Not at all. We aim to dig trial pits against the existing property in the approximate location of your new Cool Building so that we can determine the sub-structure arrangement of your existing property at the same time.
Once this information has been collated and passed to our structural engineers, they can fully design the foundations to support your new Cool Building ensuring no surprises when works commence on-site.

If the ground conditions are deemed to be unsuitable for a traditional trench foundation, we may need to explore the need for piled (deeper) foundations. If that’s the case then deeper soil investigations are performed via a window sample machine which cores boreholes into the ground to 10m deep or refusal (continued with dynamic probing if refusal met before 10m).”

And Dynamic probing is?!

“Ah yes, Dynamic probing — basically hitting a metal rod into the ground with a predetermined force and measuring how deep the rod extends with each hit!!

Soil samples collected during the window sampling are then sent away for laboratory testing. After the result of that more extensive soil investigation has been collated and reviewed by our structural engineers, a complete piled foundation solution can be designed which again will tie down costs and remove any hidden surprises!”

Aren’t you glad the team at Cool Buildings are experts in the above so you don’t have to be?!

At Cool Buildings, we offer the full turnkey service across London and the south-east of England — a design & build service like no other. From the 3D drawings we supply to help you truly visualise your new home addition, to the project management of your extension using our own in-house experienced and friendly building team. Our attention to detail and the care and effort we take is what makes our customers so happy. At Cool Buildings, we love what we do and we want you to love it, too.