Ground investigations are important for determine if the ground contains contamination which can harm humans or the environment, and if the soils at the site are strong enough to support the proposed new buildings.
Sites that have previously been developed may have man-made ground or residue from industry within the soil. This can mean that contamination such as heavy metals, asbestos and hydrocarbons may be resent in the soil at levels that are dangerous for human health, the environment or the ground can generate ground gas which can build up inside buildings and make occupiers unwell.
Even greenfield sites can pose a risk as soils rich in organic matter can produce harmful gases.
Contamination can also get into the water environment, harming wildlife and plants.
Geology at the site can also be a problem for new buildings – soft soils and coal mines can cause buildings to subside and certain contaminants can attack concrete foundations.
Latterly, invasive weeds have become a cause for concern as they can be harmful to humans and pose risks to buildings and infrastructure.
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