Code of practice for ground investigations has been updated

7 July 2020

BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has revised BS 5930 Code of practice for ground investigations.

This standard helps to assess the suitability of sites for construction operations and civil engineering works. It also gives best practice recommendations to gather the right information on features of a site that might affect the design and construction of these works, as well as the safety of neighbouring land and property.

It has been updated by a Technical Committee1 of geotechnical engineers, geologists and geoenvironmental specialists.

The following changes have been introduced:

  • Update to description of soils and rocks in accordance with BS EN ISO 14688 and 14689 (2018 versions)
  • Updates accommodate changes in BS EN ISO 17892 and related BS 1377 parts
  • Further implementation into UK practice of BS EN 1997‑1 and BS EN 1997‑2 and the related test standards cited therein and the need to conform to these standards, such as Desk study and field reconnaissance
  • New information on geophysical surveying and ground testing and updated guidance on ground investigations on contaminated ground
  • Changes to accommodate the requirements of data capture in the field and the inclusion of this in reporting

The benefits of using BS 5930 are:

  • Full adoption of the standard by the whole supply chain in geotechnical design and ground investigation will help to ensure that clients are achieving the best possible results in terms of efficiency and avoidance of failures including delays and excessive costs
  • By following the standard UK practitioners will be carrying out their work in ground investigation and geotechnical design in accordance with the latest EN and ISO standards, and thereby should not have to resort to different methods of work when operating in other countries
  • Explanation of the steps and technical measures required to implement BS EN 1997-2 and all related standards
  • Reference to and understanding of the equipment necessary to carry out ground investigation, in particular in carrying out tests in the field and laboratory, when these might be deployed to maximum advantage

BS 5930:2015+A1:2020 standard is available for download here.

- ENDS -

Notes to the editor:

1Technical committee representatives on B/526/3

  • Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport
  • Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists
  • British Drilling Association
  • British Geotechnical Association
  • Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government
  • Committee Manager
  • Federation of Piling Specialists
  • G S H P A - Ground Source Heat Pump Association
  • Geological Society
  • Ground Forum
  • Highways England
  • Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • Network Rail
  • Transport Scotland
  • United Kingdom Accreditation Service