There are several steps that take place before a new construction site is proposed. Whether the project is a shopping mall, a highway, residential properties in a planned community, a sports arena, or anything new, the site has to be inspected and tested prior to approval to build. A highway, for example, seems straightforward enough, but it is possible that the soil will not support the weight of a highway. Geotechnical engineering is the subsurface study of conditions relating to the construction industry. Inspections and testing are conducted to discover soil composition, load-bearing capacity, and the stability of the ground. Underground erosion, fault lines, fissures, and landslides are just a few of the risks that can be eliminated via drilling, sampling, and testing of the area.

Determining if there is any collapse potential, preparation needed for sub-grading the soil, or bracing required for embankments will have an effect on the scope of the project. If parts of the proposed highway cannot support enough weight, for example, the route may have to be altered. An overpass may require steel scaffolding to remain stable into the future. Knowing what challenges are present determines if a construction company, developer, or department of transportation will proceed with a project, or find alternative locations. Preliminary testing saves a lot of time and money for companies involved. An experienced testing company, such as acs testing, will have the capacity to set up mobile laboratories at remote sites, provide drilling and sampling services, and operate an accredited laboratory. Reports will be customized to suit the needs and requirements of the client.

Sites that have been used for previous projects will require specific environmental testing. Phase 1 is an initial site assessment that is comprised based on a site visit, previous records regarding land use, and interviews. If there are no indications that hazard materials or conditions exist, the testing is concluded. If hazards are detected or suspected, testing of samples commences. That process, and the subsequent report is referred to as a phase 2 esa. Other tests may include detailed investigations of soil, rock, subsurface contamination, and underground storage tanks. Remediation and asbestos studies may also be warranted prior to new construction.