Soil Testing (classification)

Soil Testing (Site Classification) For Foundation Construction

Soil Tests (site classification) for residential dwellings, industrial, commercial and institutional buildings, be they part of a subdivision or an individual allotment or building extension are required to assess the subsurface conditions and therefore enable design of appropriate foundations. SITE Geotechnical regularly undertake these types of investigations in accordance with the Australian Standards;
AS2870-2011: "Residential Slabs and Footings - Construction" and
AS1726-1993: “Geotechnical site investigations”

Your site is namely classified based upon the expected movement of the foundation soils - generally related to the capacity of the soil to shrink and swell under normal conditions.

The following classifications may be typically given:

  • CLASS 'A' - Little or no ground movement
  • CLASS 'S' - Slightly reactive sites
  • CLASS 'M' - Moderately reactive sites
  • CLASS 'H1' - Highly reactive sites
  • CLASS 'H2' - Very highly reactive sites
  • CLASS 'E' - Extremely reactive sites
  • CLASS 'P' - Problem site or sites which cannot be classified as above (requiring a higher level of engineering principles)

The site classification is presented by site Geotechnical in a formal report which generally forms part of a building application.  In most cases consideration is given to minimum requirements which are to provide expected levels of performance.  For most situations Category 0 or 1 should be the limit; however, under adverse conditions, Category 2 should be expected although such damage should be rare.  To minimise the potential for damage consideration could be given to classifications of at least one class higher than the minimum requirement or for even higher levels of expected performance consider the use of robust engineered design solutions such as piles.


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