Geo-environmental investigation at Glasgow, Scotland


REC was commissioned to undertake a geo-environmental investigation at a site located to the north east of Glasgow, Scotland. The site comprised of a large area of grassed land – with an area of woodland – for potential sale. The site sloped down to the north west where a burn (stream) ran along the boundary. An examination of the site history as part of a Phase I desk study had uncovered limited previous development, although a mine shaft was identified in the north of the site. A Phase II investigation was then undertaken.

REC predicted that an area of the site, close to the burn, was prone to flooding and likely to be boggy – which could affect plant movement. In order to aid the movement of equipment, tracked excavators were deployed. These were also used for trial pitting and trial trenching.

Site works comprised 16 cable percussive boreholes, 5 rotary cored boreholes, and 51 trial pits. In addition, a trial trenching exercise was undertaken using a long reach excavator to locate a potential mineshaft. The site investigation began by targeting holes in the boggiest areas of the site in the west, to avoid predicted weather conditions which had the potential to delay works. This part of the site was also a safe distance from the proposed mineshaft investigation. A long reach tracked excavator was used to aid the cable percussion rig and the rotary’s compressor with minimum difficulties. Once the trial trenching exercise was complete, and the mine shaft located, the remainder of the intrusive site investigation could begin.

Due to increased rainfall and difficult ground conditions, specialist machinery was deployed to enable the cable percussion and rotary rigs to reach their locations. A Hägglund all-terrain carrier was retrofitted with a lightweight cable percussion rig in order to reach its final four locations. This had to be specially ordered, designed, and welded into place by the contractor. Whilst precipitation has ceased in the coming months the site was still unable to be traversed by conventional off-road vehicles. All four final locations were able to be accessed with minimal difficulties and with no health and safety concerns.

Due to the hard work from the contractor and the REC representative on site, the rotary hole works where the Hägglund was used was able to be completed within one day, ultimately saving the client time and money. REC returned to site to undertake a site restoration exercise. Despite challenging conditions, the site was restored to a condition that satisfied the client. REC then provided the client with a high- quality report giving recommendations on advisory bearing capacities, recommendations for advisable future works, and a comprehensive ground gas risk assessment.

REC’s work enabled the client to put the site up for sale with full geo-environmental information relating to geo-technics and land contamination.