The Five Soil Categories and How They Will Affect Your Construction Plans

Posted on: 12 January 2018

Soil testing is one of the most critical steps that construction experts make during site analysis before putting up a building. Soil testing is crucial because the outcome directly affects your building costs. Every construction site will have a unique soil profile, and therefore, you are required to take soil samples to the laboratory and get a report before starting any construction. The two parameters that experts use to classify soils are soil reactivity and bearing capacity. Here are the five soil categories and how each might affect your construction plans.

Class A soil

Class A soil is considered the most stable for construction. Type A soils are cohesive and with a very high compressive strength. Type A soils present minimal problems to builders and little possibility of ground movement in case of changes in moisture content. Lands which experts exempt from this category include fissured soil, land in construction sites adjacent to places with heavy traffic and previously disturbed soils. Construction on this soil type is considered the easiest.

Class S soil

Soils that fall under this category are often found in clay sites. A class S soil report means that there will be the possibility of slight ground movement. However, you will only need a basic slab with footing when putting up a building on this type of soil.

Class M soil

Class M is the type of soil which is likely to be found in areas clay and silt construction site. This outcome in soil testing usually means that your construction site will have moderate ground movement. For your building to be stable on such a site, you will need to reinforce the foundation to be assured that your building has enough structural integrity.

Class H1 and H2 soil

These soil types are often found in clay sites. This soil types usually mean they will have the possibility of high ground movement. The building contractors will recommend the best reinforcements to make when setting up foundations on these soil types.

Class P soil

Places with this soil type are considered problem sites. In such areas, the ground movement is often high as a result of extreme changes in moisture. You should consult a construction engineer before erecting a building on this soil type.

Soil testing determines whether the soil on site can support the weight on the building and reduces the total cost of construction. You will also need soil tests because local authorities could cancel your building project if the soil type is too problematic for construction safety.