In words “Soil test” is testing the soil. But in Civil Engineering, the term “Soil Test” or “Sub-soil Investigation” refers to testing the soil of any particular Structure or Building. It is essential to any types of structure such as Residential Buildings, Commercial Buildings, Academic Buildings like school or college, Mosque or church, Hospital, Shopping Complex, Market, Factory, Industry, Storage or Godown etc. Also Roads, Highways, Bridges, Culverts, Rail Lines, Airport, Power Plant etc. requires soil test.
This is done prior to the construction work, specially prior to the design. Because it’s an essential pre-requisite of foundation design. The main purpose of soil test is to determine the “Bearing Capacity” of Soil. As well as the type of foundation can be assumed from this test. That means it can be found weather the foundation shall be Shallow (Like Footing) or Deep (Like Pile).
This “Bearing Capacity” and “Foundation Type” is usually included in the soil test report. Foundation is designed according to this soil report. Moreover, S.P.T. values, soil type, stratification, various test results, boring point layout etc. is also included in the report.
Without Soil test foundation design cannot be done. Without proper foundation design structure may settle in future which results in cracks in structure making the structure vulnerable. Areas where soil is weak, piling is essential in those areas. Soil test helps to design a good pile foundation. Piling is very important to resist the earthquake effects.
– Engr. Imtiaz Mahmud
Foundation & Structural Consultant