The most important part of any building is, in fact, the part you cannot see, the bit under the ground, the foundations.
Have you heard about the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we will about it in a bit, but first let’s talk about why it’s leaning.
The first things requires before designing any building is an investigation of the ground to determine what sort of foundations are required and indeed what sort of building can be built on it.
This investigation is carried out by a soil test. So what is soil test?
A soil test is a scientific examination of a piece of ground to determine how stable it is and what sort of weight it can support. Samples are taken and tested to determine the weight, density, water content, shear strength, elasticity, the nature of the particles and of course, the load bearing capacity of the earth.
The Learning Tower of Pisa is a case in point.
Giovanni Di Simone was only going to build a bit of a bandstand, no one ever expected him to go up 8 floors (that was a high rise back in 1178!) and checking the ground first would have been useful. However they didn’t and the tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure’s weight, this was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. They can be forgiven for the oversight, but an oversight in this time and age?
That’s why as part of our commitment to deliver superior and lasting results to our clients, soil test is one of the key steps we take while carrying out due diligence on any development we are involved in.
I’ve identified that failure to test soil adequately and correctly would introduce high levels of financial and safety risks.