By Roberts Environmental

Roberts Environmental Limited (REL) has undertaken a large-scale Ground Investigation in east London.  

Details of the Site Investigation

REL undertook a Geo-Environmental Site Investigation and Risk Assessment for a 3.3-hectare industrial site at Bromley-by-Bow, London.

REL were instructed by Hollis Global to undertake a comprehensive geotechnical and environmental Site Investigation which could be utilised by the client to facilitate the commercial sale of the site and to provide ground condition information for the potential subsequent development of the site.

The site is currently occupied by an active industrial estate which provided operational obstacles to the proposed Site Investigation as current site practices needed to be protected to ensure businesses could continue unimpeded.

As is true with much of London, a significant risk was present from Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). Historically, the site was positioned relatively close to several primary Luftwaffe targets and consequently experienced a high bombing density over ten large scale air raids. Due to the potential risk, REL ensured a Detailed UXO Risk Assessment was carried out prior to the investigation and Explosive Ordnance (EO) safety and awareness briefings were undertaken. In addition, investigation locations were supervised by an EO engineer and surveyed with a Magnetometer Probe to enable the works to progress safely.

Given the sites former historical use the preliminary assessment identified a number of potential abnormals which required further assessment to provide comfort during the sale process and ensure all geo-environmental risks and liabilities had been identified and quantified.  

The site works comprised:

  • Three Cable Percussive Boreholes to 20m;
  • Thirteen Windowless Sampling Boreholes;
  • Six Trial Pits;
  • The installation of eight combined gas and groundwater monitoring standpipes;
  • Subsequent groundwater and ground gas monitoring;
  • A suite of in-situ and geotechnical laboratory analysis;
  • A suite of chemical laboratory analysis on both soils and groundwaters; and
  • The production of an interpretative report.

What Were the Outcomes?

We successfully delivered a report providing a concise overview of the ground conditions, including an interpretation of the data so that the limitations to future development could be established. The quantity and detail of the environmental data obtained allowed a comprehensive conceptual site model to be developed for the site. REL’s technical expertise, combined with a commercial view and the wealth of data allowed for many of the risks identified within the preliminary assessment to be mitigated and/or reduced.

The geotechnical information was used to assess the most cost-effective foundation and structural design parameters so that the maximum development potential for a variety of uses can be determined for the site.

Despite the complex nature of the site, REL successfully delivered the services within a very tight timeframe of four weeks from completion of site works and submission of the report– reducing the industry standard of six-week reporting timescales by 33% and ensuring our client obtained the information they required without impacting the sale process. All works were completed within the agreed set fees, ensuring the project remained on budget.


REL’s London Office has completed a large-scale Ground Investigation to aid in a commercial property sale and provide information to inform future development proposals.

The services included a comprehensive Geo-environmental assessment of the ground conditions at the site, with a concise, pragmatic interpretation of the data, delivered on time and budget despite multiple constraints and demanding timescales.

For further information on how we can assist you with Geo-Environmental Assessments please do not hesitate to call us on 0207 183 8491 or email:

1 Croft Stairs
Newcastle Upon Tyne

55 Whitfield Street

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0191 230 4521