Need Engineering Services?
FILL OUT A QUICK 2 MINUTE FORM
FILL OUT A QUICK 2 MINUTE FORM
Compare Multiple Rates, so you know you’re getting the best deal.
Compare quotes on essential services and equipment for your home or business.
The easiest way to find services for your home
Tell us just a few basic details about what you’re looking to buy. Our quick forms will guide you through the key questions to consider.
We’ll introduce you to a few, hand-selected sellers who will provide best price quotes and answer any questions you may have.
You’ll compare multiple price quotes so you know you’re getting the best deal. Our handy Buyer’s Guides will prep you for the ins and outs.
Read our buying advice for Engineering Services
With each passing day, the construction and the architectural world is constantly evolving. This is because the buildings are being constructed and there are renovation nuances going on. For the same reason, structural engineers are increasingly in demand because they are responsible for conducting the soil tests before they initiate the construction and plan. The soil tests are usually the first steps for understanding the suitability of the soil for the construction work.
Importance of Soil Testing
It's an essential point of concern because the soil is responsible for allowing pressure and stress coming from the structure. This is why it must be tested to deliver performance. When the soil isn't tested, there are chances of damage and collapsing of the building (your building might even become the leaning tower of Pisa). It's obvious that construction projects are conducted on the soils since it has to take the weight from the building and other infrastructural structure.
The soil testing shows the chemical as well as the physical composition of the soil. It's an essential point to ponder because soil varies with various factors, such as management, climate change, and weather; these factors can variate the soil's bearing capacity. However, it's crucial to outline because soil testing will measure the soil settlement as well as the bearing capacity. The soil settlement explains the rate of stabilization at which the soil settles.
The structural engineers also determine the optimal depth and length of pillars if they are to be put into the soil; it builds the foundation. In addition, the results of soil testing will determine the most suitable construction techniques. Similarly, the water table level will be determined through soil testing and it helps outline the humidity level of the foundation. The mineral components and chemicals will directly impact the construction material choice.
For instance, if soil testing says that soil has sulfur, the cement must have a sulfur-resistant configuration because it promises protection from the building's foundation. The structural engineers will determine if there is an additional need for soil stabilization or if they have to increment the depth of the foundation. It doesn't matter which is the foundation, such as gravel, clay, sand, silt, and loam soil, you must test them to ensure a promising outcome.
Types of Soil Tests
When it concerns the soil tests, it helps determine the quality of soil that directly impacts the building construction. There are various soil tests available; some are conducted in the field while some are conducted in the laboratory. In the section below, we are sharing details about different types of soil tests, such as;
Moisture Content Test
This is a crucial parameter for building and construction. The moisture content tests include the torsion balance method, oven drying method, calcium carbide method, sand bath method, alcohol method, pycnometer method, and radiation method. When it comes down to the oven drying method, it's not only the most common method but is incredibly incredible as well. With the oven drying method, the soil sample is weighted and is added to the oven, and is dried at 110o + 5oC. After one day, the soil is weighted, so you can outline the change in moisture content.
Specific Gravity Test
The soil's gravity is defined as the ratio per unit weight of the soil solids with water. The specific gravity test is conducted through the gas jar method, density bottle method, shrinkage limit method, pycnometer method, and measuring flash method. These tests are pretty common and are simple to use.
Dry Density Test
To begin with, soil particles' weight in the sample is known as dry density. The dry density of the soil primarily depends on the specific gravity and void ratio. Also, the dry density soil's values are categorized into loose, medium dense, and dense. It includes the sand replacement method, core cutter method, and water displacement method.
Atterberg Limits Test
When it concerns the measurement of fine-grained soil and its water content, the Atterberg method shows three limits that predict the properties of the soil at different levels. The limits are named shrinkage limit, plastic limit, and liquid limit.
Proctor's Compaction Test
The Proctor's test is responsible for determining the characters of soil, related to compaction. Compaction is defined as the reduction process of air voids in the soil through the densification process. In addition, the compaction degree is measured in the soil's dry density.
The Soils Report
As per the information passed by the CBC, there is a prerequisite of shaving the soils report and investigation reports; these reports must be developed at the local authoritative level. The soil reports have become essential and are mandatory for subdivisions that have at least five or more parcels or apartments.
In case of soil issues in the soil report, it can lead to structural damages and this is the prime reason that CBC has settled the complete geotechnical investigation. In the majority of cases, the soils reports are mandatory for the new projects.
The soil testing costs are usually $1,336 on average. However, the costs will range from $756 to $1,916 which the contamination testing will range from $15 to $400.
- Range from low to high: $400 to $3,000
- Average: $1,308
- Usual range: $756 to $1,887
As far as the residential structural engineer costs are concerned, the average cost will be $501. On the contrary, the usual range ranges from $341 to $709. As for the structural engineering, the costs will be from $800 to $3,000. However, the charges will vary from $100 to $200, at a per-hour rate.
- Range from low to high: $200 to $1,300
- Average: $501
- Usual range: $341 to $709
The Bottom Line
Soil is the ultimate foundation for every home or building. It doesn't matter if you have to construct the five floors or construct a new Burj Khalifa, soil testing is essential. This is because it directly influences the construction effectiveness and the sturdiness of the building. With this article, we tried to shed light on soil testing and why structural engineers don't initiate construction without it. So, if you have to build something new, take two minutes and fill the form below to get the quote for the respective services!