The Leaning Tower of Pisa is known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The building, or bell tower, as it was originally constructed for, began tilting during construction due to inadequate foundation and ground that was too soft to properly support the structure’s weight.
The tilt increased in the years that followed, and even before the structure was completed. It has been stabilised today, and while it attracts millions of tourists every day, a proper conduct of soil testing could have helped it become one of the most beautiful, and functioning, bell towers in Italy.
The Value of Soil Testing
Soil testing possibly could have already existed by the time the Tower of Pisa began construction, but it surely did not yet possess the rigour and science of the process known today.
Nowadays, soil testing is the first step for any construction of building planning to understand and ensure the suitability of the soil for the proposed construction work. The soil profile of each location or site varies, and literally holds your building’s future; whether it will stay as erect and efficient, or lean and sink as time goes by.
This refers to soil reactivity, which is the main point of soil testing. Reactivity refers to how much likely the soil is about to move, erode or expand. It also identifies how much the soil can support per unit area. Should the soil testing identify the area unstable, the construction work could be moved elsewhere or it could be better helped by a different kind of foundation.
Naturally, difficult sites would cost more. Soil testing, as the first step before any proposed construction, definitely helps building owners and organisations cut costs.
The Types of Soil Tests
There are different type of soil testing one can conduct to ensure construction sustainability. Geotechnical engineers, or Geotechs, can help you identify which type of soil testing best fits your construction project.
There are five basic types of soil tests you can conduct before building. The different types are moisture content test, Atterberg limits test, dry density of soil, specific gravity of soil, and compaction test. Other than these, there are also different types of soil test should you be doing a rebuild: one prior the demolition, and another before the rebuild.
Some of these are conducted on-site, while some are brought inside a laboratory for thorough testing.
The soil test process results will help the building or house owner manage a successful construction project. Knowing the soil profile of your house location before signing any building contract is compulsory, helps you manage the project successfully and even cut down costs.
Consult with geotechnical engineers to determine your location’s soil type and bearing capacity before beginning the construction of your next project or home.