What is Phase 1: Desk Study?

Also known as a Preliminary Risk Assessment, this process forms the foundation of your proposed development. It lays the groundwork for the next phase of Site Investigation.

This initial Phase 1 Desk Study is paramount to creating a robust Site Investigation.

Site Walkover Survey

An essential part of the evidence-gathering stage is to physically visit your site and record important features through the completion of the walkover survey. We will record evidence of potential geohazards, such as obvious land contamination, hazardous ground and recorded areas of subsidence and deformation. We also assess ecological and environmental aspects, such as invasive weeds, pertinent on-site and adjacent features.

Historical Review

This will give us a clearer picture of the history of your site and what hazards may be present due to the former site uses. We can garner a lot of information by looking at the history and heritage of your site. If we find that your site carries risks due to its history, we will conduct a targeted soil investigation and find a solution that keeps your development safe.

Geological Review

Soil, rock and other minerals beneath your planned build will be fully assessed using the latest British Geological Survey mapping and modelling techniques in compliance with the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS) and British Standard. A robust soil investigation helps us to establish any potential risks to the integrity of structures built on your site and future end-users of your site. Phase 2: Ground Investigation will be tailored to investigate geological features/hazards identified during the Phase 1: preliminary risk assessment stage.

Mining & Coal Mining Risk Assessment

Mining and mineral extraction once covered a large proportion of the British Isles. The extraction of coal, chalk and gypsum to name a few, all pose a potential risk to your site as a result of ground instability. Our review of historical plans and coal mining records may well find that your site was once part of the British coalfields. Our preliminary mining & coal mining risk assessment will investigate your location and provide you with a full appraisal to satisfy the planning application when developing in a high-risk area. The coal mining risk assessment will also form the basis for a targeted intrusive Ground Investigation, which will be undertaken in the next Phase 2: Site Investigation.

Preliminary Geotechnical Assessment

A preliminary Geotechnical Assessment undertaken as part of Phase 1: Desk Study identifies the geotechnical constraints associated with the geology beneath your build. A detailed Geotechnical Assessment at the preliminary stages is crucial to ensure you avoid any major issues associated with unidentified geological hazards – such as poor/unfavourable ground and groundwater conditions, slope stability, mine entries and mineral extraction to name a few. If we find that there are risks that could jeopardise your build, we will develop pragmatic and feasible solutions in Phase 2: Ground Investigation.

Preliminary Geoenvironmental Assessment

Our preliminary Geoenvironmental Assessment aims to identify and evaluate the potential land, Controlled Waters, and ground gas contamination hazards at an early stage. Former activities on or near to your site may give rise to potential contaminants, and our assessment will look to establish the potential risks and how these can be fully investigated and managed.

Risk Assessment & Conceptual Site Model

Using all assessments outlined above, we’ll evaluate the geotechnical and geoenvironmental risks and advise you on the best way to take your project forward. This may involve conducting further in-depth ground investigations during Phase 2: Site Investigation. Once we have identified constraints, our geotechnical engineering and environmental engineering specialists will work on a solution that is effective and causes as little disruption to your plans as possible. We work closely with regulatory authorities to ensure our technical recommendations are safe, robust, and acceptable.

Why is Phase 1: Desk Study necessary?

Phase 1 Desk Study Coal Mining Risk AssessmentPhase 1: Desk Study maps out the rest of our work and identifies any immediate problems.

We can garner a lot of information on your chosen plot of land for your build from this phase alone. We perform Preliminary Risk Assessments, looking at soil, rock, water and the history of the land. A crucial part of the assessment process is a detailed site walkover survey.

Phase 1: Desk Study is vital if you’re looking for your plans to progress. We will evaluate any risks and give you solid, expert advice on how to proceed with your build. This will support your planning application or feasibility assessment and help you to make the big decisions. We recommend carrying out Phase 1: Desk Study as early in your project as possible – before any major decisions have been made.

Our expert team are here to help. We will guide you through the Phase 1: Desk Study process and keep you informed at every step. Our specialists are on hand if you have any questions or concerns.