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Wilma Caldwell
Architectural technologist
Asked a question 2 years ago

What are the soil tests required for a 3 storey building?

What are the soil tests required for a 3 storey building and the standards for each test?

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Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant

Tests conducted for foundation of 3 storey buildings may change based on the type of soil on project site. Tests are commonly involves both field and laboratory which are discussed below: 

Field investigation 

Field investigation starts with the physical exploration to identify the presence of wet area, presence of plant trees or shrubs, and the presence of problematic soils like clay, which may call for detailed field studies. Depending on the resources available, either shallow profiles or boreholes are executed for further investigation. 

Geotechnical site investigation consisted of open trial pits, coring and trial pit logging, in-situ water content, the weathering profile description and the collection of disturbed and undisturbed samples for laboratory tests. Laboratory tests 

1. Grain Size Distribution 

2. In-Situ Moisture and Density Test 

3. Atterberg Limits 

4. Potential Swell Based on Tables and Charts 

5. Swell Tests (Free swell test, Free swell in the oedometer) 

6. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Microscopy

Raul Jimenez
Senior Project Manager

Investigation of soil depends upon the type of soil and its topographic condition but not to the number of storeys.

For a three-storey building, the soil must be stable with good bearing capacity and does not show any settlement in the previous loading.

The following are the tests performed on the soil to check its geotechnical properties during the construction of any structure; it may be three storeys or more.

Moisture content of soil determined by oven drying method, calcium carbide method torsion balance method, pycnometer method, radiation method, alcohol method and sand bath method. Test of specific gravity: it is the ratio of the density of soil to the density of water. Test of Dry Density: it depends upon the value of void ratio and a specific gravity of soil. This test is used to determine the soil as a medium dense, loose and Dense. Test to find atterberg limit: three types of the limit are there that is the liquid limit, plastic limit and shrinkage limit. Compaction test on the soil by proctors method. Bearing capacity value of soil. Penetration test on soil Share test on soil: it is performed by the direct shear test method, triaxial compression test, unconfined shear test, Vane shear test.

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