Geotechnical Desk Studies – Phase 1 Study
A Phase 1 Desk Study is an important part of the site investigation process, irrespective of whether the site has been developed or not. These reports are essential for assessing the requirements of a ground investigation from both environmental and geotechnical perspectives. A well-executed desk study will help to formulate Phase 2 investigation work, targeting specific areas of contamination or identifying requirements for specific geotechnical parameters, culminating in a cost-effective and effective investigation. A Phase1 Desk Study is often a requirement of local authority planning protocols and also warranty providers such as the NHBC.
In providing the Phase 1 report, Soil Consultants will review and summarise commercially available historical maps and database reports which identify historical and present contaminative uses, flood risks, aquifer designations and groundwater vulnerability. In addition to the environmental and contamination risks we will also identify any site-specific risks such as chalk dissolution features, coal mining, clay desiccation, Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and we will commission third-party reports as required to assist in the risk assessment. We will contact the relevant local authority to obtain any further information that they hold as these can often include information not included in general databases. We will undertake a site walk-over survey which is an essential element of the desk study to identify visual risks. We have carried out numerous investigations in the UK over the last 30 years and our database of reports is an invaluable source of information on the ground conditions.
Our desk study report will assimilate the necessary environmental information to provide a Preliminary Risk Assessment (PRA) and an initial Conceptual Site Model (CSM). The report will also provide preliminary information and geotechnical assessment of the site and recommendations for exploratory work.
Desk Studies have the potential to save in all aspects of the planning process both in financial terms and time. Where possible the client should be encouraged to undertake a desk study to assess the site prior to specifying a Phase 2 ground investigation.
Benefits of a desk study include