How Important is Soil Testing before Construction?

As the soil has to take the pressure of a structure, it's a significant aspect to be checked. It's considered to be one of the first things a construction company does.Soil testing is mostly performed to assess the soil's bearing ability. It also displays the soil's physical and chemical composition.

Based on the consistency of the soil, the length and depth of the pillars are set during the foundation. Only soil testing can assess the water level of the soil. Material quality can be selected on the basis of soil testing studies. So if we want to build a property without any flaws, we need to understand how important is soil testing before construction.

Different Methods of Soil Testing

There are various scientific processes that civil engineers use to perform soil testing. Such as gravity test, dry density test, proctor's compaction test. Few of them are elaborated below-

Gravity Test

Gravity Test

Soil gravity is the ratio between the unit weight of soil solids and that of water.

There are quite a few methods that can be used to perform the gravity test, but the Density Bottle Method and Pycnometer Method are the simplest and common methods to achieve the exact outcome.

Proctor's Test of Compaction

One of the most significant elements to be identified during the Proctor's Compaction Test on soil is soil compaction. The densification is to be carried out by reducing the air gaps in the soil. When the dried thickness of the soil is concerned, the compaction level is estimated.

Atterberg Limits Test

Atterberg Limits Test

The Atterberg Soil Limits Test is carried out at 3 limits or stages. They're Liquid Limit, Plastic limit & Shrinkage Limit. The testing component is done with fine grained soil and can be calculated with it if there is any essential component from water.

Moisture Test

Samples are gathered from the site in this process and weighed until it is placed on the oven before drying. It is out in the oven after taking the weight and dried at 110+5 °C. After 24 hours it's weighed again. The difference in the two weights is noted, and the weight difference decides the water or moisture content.

Emergence of Testing Soils before Construction

Testing of the soil essentially means assessing the soil's reactivity. Reactivity of the soil refers to how the soil on site reacts to certain conditions (i.e.) as the soil moves, expands or contracts, etc. Especially when multi-story apartments are being constructed, soil testing is extremely necessary.

Builders have a concept that soil testing is time consuming and can cost a lot of money. Builders actually do not realize that the cost of laying the foundation for the building would eventually be minimized by proper soil testing.

Soil testing is currently being performed in all government buildings, but due to a lack of awareness about its significance few builders appear to neglect this significant standard in the construction process. As a buyer, it's your right to know if proper soil tests have been carried out on the property or not. Also as a builder it's your social responsibility to do it in order to avoid danger in future.