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

We were recruited by Gleeds due to the difficult nature of the site which was presenting a variety of problems for future developments. The site, a former opencast coal mine, is understood to comprise up to 80m 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.

At Discovery, our engineers 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 will routinely provide services for commercial developments, Coalfield Way in Ashby-De-La-Zouche is a prime example of such service; this £20k project was for a proposed warehouse redevelopment. Discovery 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 in order to gain a thorough understanding of its potential impact on the development.



IM Properties have previously employed the help of our team at Discovery in order to undertake an intrusive investigation across the Blythe Valley Business Park site. The purpose of the investigation was to assess the underlying ground conditions and any other geotechnical and/ or geo-environmental issues associated with the development.

The site comprises of an area of approximately sixty three hectares which was split up into seven distinct zones for commercial and residential developments.

The preliminary investigation comprised of Cable Percussive Boreholes, Dynamic Sampling Boreholes and Trial pitting. The results of the investigation revealed variable ground conditions across the site, these were then later assessed on a local scale to provide development specific recommendations.



The underlying Geology at Welwyn Garden City comprises of Chalk which commonly contains “Solution Features”- zones in the Chalk which have been dissolved and can remain either as a void or be infilled with soft soil.

DCE carried out a detailed investigation of this 2.2 ha site using Static Cone Penetrometer Testing at foundation positions. This method was used in order to determine if such features were present and if they would induce further risk to the proposed warehouse/ office development.

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

Site Investigation
Site Investigation

Geotechnical Recommendations

Detailed Investigation