Why do I need a Soil Test?

In the early 1990’s, rules were introduced to ensure that every new building and extension or development project would have a soil test and site classification completed prior to construction. Prior to this there had been increasing concern regarding construction standards of footings and foundations as numbers of defective houses steadily increased. A lack of knowledge and consideration for local site conditions resulted in poorly designed slabs and footings which in turn resulted in damage to building structures over time. In the past damage to structures due to site soil conditions has varied from minor to sever and in the worst cases led to buildings being demolished due to safety concerns. Australian Standards hence created the AS 2870 site classification standard to limit building damage due to site movement and provide a set of standardised foundation designs particular to certain site parameters. In the case where potentially hazardous site conditions are identified during a site classification and soil test inspection, a site specific design must be created with the input of a qualified engineer. This standard is adhered to today by councils across Australia including Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. All building development applications, including extensions, must now be accompanied by a site soil test report and site classification when submitted to local council.

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