Soil is so much more than dirt. It provides the base for your building project and the support for your foundations. How soil reacts to various weather conditions, such as rain, drought and freezing temperatures, influences the installation of the foundation, plumbing and other building components.

“In situ” means in the original place. When used in engineering, it means collecting and testing soil samples directly at the construction site. ECS offers in-situ engineering and testing to help you complete your construction project successfully. 

Soil is so much more than dirt. It provides the base for your building project and the support for your foundations. How soil reacts to various weather conditions, such as rain, drought and freezing temperatures, influences the installation of the foundation, plumbing and other building components.

“In situ” means in the original place. When used in engineering, it means collecting and testing soil samples directly at the construction site. ECS offers in-situ engineering and testing to help you complete your construction project successfully. 

Derek Clyburn

What Is In-Situ Testing?

In-situ soil testing provides information about the soil in a property. During an in-situ test, our engineers collect data on the soil’s moisture content and groundwater pressure. 

We perform testing using several methods. Which method we recommend will depend on the soil type and your project goals. Examples of in-situ testing methods include:

Cone Penetration Testing

Cone penetration testing is a test in situ that identifies the subsurface conditions in the first 100 feet of soil. During the test, a cone pushes into the soil. The cone is counterweighted by a truck, allowing our engineers to measure the tip resistance and the friction required. With that information, we can assess the friction ratio and the soil’s ability to resist liquefaction.

Cone penetration testing is fast and accurate. With the information collected during a cone penetration test, we can assess the likelihood of ground settlement and landslides.

In-situ soil testing provides information about the soil in a property. During an in-situ test, our engineers collect data on the soil’s moisture content and groundwater pressure. 

We perform testing using several methods. Which method we recommend will depend on the soil type and your project goals. Examples of in-situ testing methods include:

Cone Penetration Testing

Cone penetration testing is a test in situ that identifies the subsurface conditions in the first 100 feet of soil. During the test, a cone pushes into the soil. The cone is counterweighted by a truck, allowing our engineers to measure the tip resistance and the friction required. With that information, we can assess the friction ratio and the soil’s ability to resist liquefaction.

Cone penetration testing is fast and accurate. With the information collected during a cone penetration test, we can assess the likelihood of ground settlement and landslides.

Derek Clyburn

Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground penetrating radar captures images of the subsurface by sending energy pulses into the soil. The testing equipment records the time it takes for a reflected signal to return and the strength of the returning signal. The test produces reflections when the energy pulse encounters materials that have different electrical conduction properties. If the testing equipment meets dry sand, then wet soil, the reflection will be strong. 

Dilatometer Testing

Dilatometer testing analyzes several important soil parameters. It is a cost-effective, simple and quick testing method that provides repeatable, operator-independent results.

Menard Pressuremeter

A pressuremeter test is an appropriate option when you need to test dense soil, rock or clay. During the test, our engineers insert a pressuremeter into a borehole. The pressuremeter’s probe inflates and applies pressure to the borehole’s walls. As the probe expands and pressures increase, the borehole walls start to deform. 

During the test, the pressure or the volume increase in equal increments, depending on the method used. 

Ground Penetrating Radar

Ground penetrating radar captures images of the subsurface by sending energy pulses into the soil. The testing equipment records the time it takes for a reflected signal to return and the strength of the returning signal. The test produces reflections when the energy pulse encounters materials that have different electrical conduction properties. If the testing equipment meets dry sand, then wet soil, the reflection will be strong. 

Dilatometer Testing

Dilatometer testing analyzes several important soil parameters. It is a cost-effective, simple and quick testing method that provides repeatable, operator-independent results.

Menard Pressuremeter

A pressuremeter test is an appropriate option when you need to test dense soil, rock or clay. During the test, our engineers insert a pressuremeter into a borehole. The pressuremeter’s probe inflates and applies pressure to the borehole’s walls. As the probe expands and pressures increase, the borehole walls start to deform. 

During the test, the pressure or the volume increase in equal increments, depending on the method used. 

ECS engineers

Why Is In-Situ Testing Important?

In-situ testing takes place in the natural environment and does not create disruptions in the soil. It allows for a more accurate interpretation of soil conditions without changing drainage, stress or particle arrangement. 

The testing itself is repeatable, allowing multiple people to conduct the procedures and achieve the same results. Since the testing takes place on-site, it is faster than lab-based testing and more cost-effective.

In-situ testing is essential for the safety and stability of a construction project. 

Why Is In-Situ Testing Important?

In-situ testing takes place in the natural environment and does not create disruptions in the soil. It allows for a more accurate interpretation of soil conditions without changing drainage, stress or particle arrangement. 

The testing itself is repeatable, allowing multiple people to conduct the procedures and achieve the same results. Since the testing takes place on-site, it is faster than lab-based testing and more cost-effective.

In-situ testing is essential for the safety and stability of a construction project. 

engineers talking about site structure

When to Use In-Situ Testing Services

You should schedule in-situ testing before starting the construction of any permanent or temporary structures. Conducting soil testing before a project begins allows you to make adjustments to your plans based on the results of the test. Depending on those results, you may need to adjust the design of the foundations, slab or footing.

When scheduling in-situ testing, remember that you must test across the construction area, as the soil may be remarkably different on one side of the lot than on the other. Similarly, the soil’s properties can change at different subsurface levels. ECS can help you decide which type of in-situ testing is most appropriate based on the conditions of your lot.

You should schedule in-situ testing before starting the construction of any permanent or temporary structures. Conducting soil testing before a project begins allows you to make adjustments to your plans based on the results of the test. Depending on those results, you may need to adjust the design of the foundations, slab or footing.

When scheduling in-situ testing, remember that you must test across the construction area, as the soil may be remarkably different on one side of the lot than on the other. Similarly, the soil’s properties can change at different subsurface levels. ECS can help you decide which type of in-situ testing is most appropriate based on the conditions of your lot.

engineers talking about site structure

Specialized In-Situ Testing

Specialized In-situ testing provides information regarding the subsurface of a project site. Our engineers use this information to refine design parameters and reduce the uncertainties associated with more conventional testing methods. For example, conventional exploration and testing might result in a recommendation for deep foundations. However, since in-situ technologies can obtain more specific subsurface data, sometimes we can recommend a more cost-effective and faster option, such as shallow foundations. The cost savings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and days to weeks on the construction schedule simply by gathering better data using in-situ testing.

These technologies help us get the best possible information regarding the soil and groundwater properties on your site. Please contact us with any questions you have regarding in-situ testing.

Specialized In-Situ Testing

Specialized In-situ testing provides information regarding the subsurface of a project site. Our engineers use this information to refine design parameters and reduce the uncertainties associated with more conventional testing methods. For example, conventional exploration and testing might result in a recommendation for deep foundations. However, since in-situ technologies can obtain more specific subsurface data, sometimes we can recommend a more cost-effective and faster option, such as shallow foundations. The cost savings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and days to weeks on the construction schedule simply by gathering better data using in-situ testing.

These technologies help us get the best possible information regarding the soil and groundwater properties on your site. Please contact us with any questions you have regarding in-situ testing.

ECS Limited

In-Situ testing methods that ECS uses include the following:

  • Menard Pressuremeter
  • Pen Cell Pressuremeter
  • Cone Penetrometer
  • Dilatometer
  • Refraction Microtremor
  • Cross Borehole Seismic Logging
  • Ground Penetrating Radar

In-Situ testing methods that ECS uses include the following:

  • Menard Pressuremeter
  • Pen Cell Pressuremeter
  • Cone Penetrometer
  • Dilatometer
  • Refraction Microtremor
  • Cross Borehole Seismic Logging
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
kelly clawson

Work With ECS for In-Situ Testing

ECS offers specialized in-situ testing to help you complete your construction projects. To learn more about our testing methods and the benefits of in-situ testing, contact us for a quote today.

Contact Us

ECS offers specialized in-situ testing to help you complete your construction projects. To learn more about our testing methods and the benefits of in-situ testing, contact us for a quote today.

Contact Us