Soil types explained

A discussion on the different soil type classes , S/M/H/E + P and the variations within types.

It’s not about one being good or bad, more just understanding what the implications are for design and construction.

Key Points from the Blog Post:

1. Importance of Soil Tests: Geotechnical soil tests are essential for new builds to ensure stable foundations. They assess soil properties like density, strength, and permeability, influencing foundation design.

2. Common Soil Tests:

  • Particle Size Distribution: Determines soil composition (sand, clay, etc.).
  • Atterberg Limits: Measures soil behavior with moisture changes.
  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR): Assesses soil load-bearing capacity.
  • Permeability Tests: Evaluate water drainage through soil.

3. Interpreting Results: Understanding soil test results helps in preparing the site and designing suitable foundations, minimizing risks of settling and instability.

Soil Types and Their Impact:

Soil Classifications:

  • S (Stable): Low movement potential, minimal impact on foundation.
  • M (Moderately Reactive): Some movement, requires moderate foundation design adjustments.
  • H (Highly Reactive): Significant shrink-swell behavior, needing robust foundation solutions.
  • E (Extremely Reactive): High risk of movement, necessitating specialized engineering.
  • P (Problematic): Issues like soft soil or rock, demanding thorough investigation and customized foundation design.

Ys Values:

  • Indicates the potential vertical movement of the soil due to moisture changes.
  • Higher Ys values mean greater shrink-swell potential, influencing foundation depth, type, and reinforcement requirements.

Discussion Points:

  1. Have you ever had a geotechnical soil test done on your property? What were the findings, and how did they impact your building plans?
  2. For those who haven’t experienced soil testing, what concerns or questions do you have about the process and its importance?
  3. How do you plan to ensure that your foundation is stable and secure?
  4. Have you consulted with a geotechnical engineer? What insights or recommendations did they provide?


For detailed information, check out the full blog post here.