Commercial Developments


DCE were instructed by Gleeds to carry out a site investigation and ground improvement for a commercial development worth in excess of £10 million.

DCE were instructed due to the difficult nature of the site for development. The site, a former opencast coal mine, is understood to comprise up to 80 m of Made Ground (predominantly colliery spoil). The former  high wall and shelves are also noted to be beneath the proposed building footprints. As a result of these features there is the potential risk for differential creep settlement and inundation of the proposed buildings on site.

DCE have designed a ground improvement strategy which combines both dynamic compaction and surcharging to  facilitate the development of the site within a tight timescale.


Discovery CE routinely provide services for commercial developments.

This £20K project in Ashby de la Zouche was for a proposed warehouse redevelopment. Discovery CE were commissioned by Rodgers Leask to carry out a combined geotechnical and environmental site investigation including cable percussion boreholes, rotary cored boreholes and trial pitting.

A contaminated land assessment was carried out and geotechnical recommendations were given. A key consideration in the assessment of the site was the presence of an infilled former coal pit which required detailed modelling to gain a thorough understanding of its potential impact on the development.

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DCE were instructed by I M Properties to undertake an intrusive investigation across the Blythe Valley Business Park site to assess the underlying ground conditions and any geotechnical and/ or geoenvironmental issues associated with the development.

The site comprises an area of approximately 63 hectares which was split up into 7 No. distinct zones for commercial and residential development.

The preliminary investigation comprised Cable Percussive boreholes, dynamic sampling boreholes and trial pitting, the results of the investigation revealed variable ground conditions across the site, which were later assessed on a a local scale to provide development specific recommendations.

Geotechnical Recommendations



The underlying Geology at Welwyn Garden city comprises Chalk which commonly contains “solution features”- zones in the Chalk which have been dissolved which can remain as a void or be infilled with soft soil.

Discovery carried out a detailed investigation of this 2.2 Ha site using static cone penetrometer testing at foundation positions to determine if such features were present and presented a risk to the proposed warehouse/ office development.

Solution features were found to be present and Discovery CE recommended the use of stiffened foundations in these areas to avoid unacceptable foundation settlement.

Detailed Investigation