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Soil Testing

Site Classification Soil Test

Soil testing provides the information needed to determine the site classification of a block of land. This, in turn, informs the building’s foundation design.

Site classification is usually a compulsory first step in the building process, and is part of the building approval process. It involves:

  • Field soil collection
  • Site observations/measurements
  • Laboratory testing of samples
  • Site classification

Note that this service does not include testing for environmental or farming purposes.

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When is it required?

Soil testing services for site classification are provided at the request of builders, developers, owners, and architects. It is a legislative requirement that all new residential construction completes a soil test and site classification in order to design fit-for-purpose foundations. As well as new homes, this can also include extensions, retaining walls, pools, sheds, and carports. It may also be required when:

  • Significant ‘cut and fill’ is proposed
  • The planned location for the building is changed
  • Existing structures have been removed
  • Abnormal features have been identified during construction

Soil testing is often done in conjunction with Wind Classification.

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What’s included?

Site classification soil tests involve compiling a report, which outlines:

  • Site investigation, including borehole locations, site sketch, and any identified features
  • Features adjacent to the site that may impact its classification (e.g. large trees, retaining walls, water bodies)
  • Borehole log, including cross sectional soil strata and soil composition
  • Method to retrieve soil samples
  • Determination of soil bearing capacity via pocket penetrometers and dynamic cone penetrators
  • Whether push tubes were used (if it was a limited access site)
  • Lab work to determine soil reactivity in NATA-accredited laboratory
  • Site classification to AS2870

NATA lab

With our own NATA accredited laboratory, we thoroughly test and analyse materials. Because we have full control over the testing process, we produce extremely reliable data for every project.

Regional soil profiles

With data across hundreds of thousands of soil tests, we’ve developed regional profiles of soil compositions, along with wind ratings, estate compaction information (where available), and other ‘site estate specific’ data. We can understand an estate as a whole rather than a single site.

Clear reporting

Our easy-to-follow reports are industry-leading and will help you quickly get to the heart of costings and a building schedule.

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One engineer for all your needs

Every building project is different, requiring a combination of engineering disciplines. From bottom to top, our engineers can work on soil testing and foundations, all the way up to frame and roof truss design and even inspections. We believe these shouldn’t be thought of as separate, unrelated services.

Whether you’re renovating, extending, building a brand new home, or putting in a pool, you can gain significant benefits from understanding (in advance) the full range of engineering services you might need — and from using the same engineer for all these services.
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Key advantages of integrated services

STA is a one-stop engineer with a service range that delivers three key advantages:

  • Save time and money

Pre-planning your engineering needs means you won’t have to keep re-booking an engineer when you need a particular service. It creates efficiencies that cut service times and save you money by pulling together the services you’ll need, at a lower overall price.

  • Enjoy engineering continuity

With all your engineering done by a single organisation, your consultants tap into a deeper knowledge of the site and the project, which leads to high quality outcomes, with more opportunities for innovative solutions.

  • Less risk, more reliability

While STA always takes legal responsibility for its engineering designs, an up-front engineering services package makes it easier to trust our work with a strong mutual commitment, and reduced risk of potential interruption or delay.

How it works

Engineering consideration – We help you think about your project in engineering terms. What specific services might you need?
Packaged plan – We develop a plan that packages up all the engineering services you need for your individual home or build project.
Prescheduled services – With each service pre-scheduled, we can work more closely with you over the life of the project.

Explore our engineering services

Whether you’re a builder, developer, architect or owner, STA has the size and range to cover every possibility, with a team of experts in every engineering specialty. Explore more specific info on:
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More on soil testing

With our own NATA accredited laboratory, we deliver faster and more accurate soil testing, site classification, site investigation, and geotechnical engineering results.
More about our soil testing
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