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Code of practice for site investigations

Executive summary

Code of practice for the investigation of sites for assessing their suitability for the construction of civil engineering and building works.


BS 5930:1999 deals with the investigation of sites for the purposes of assessing their suitability for the construction of civil engineering and building works and of acquiring knowledge of the characteristics of a site that affect the design and construction of such work and the security of neighbouring land and property.

Please note, the use of soil and rock as construction materials is treated only briefly.

BS 5930 deals with those matters of a technical, legal or environmental character that have usually to be taken into account in selecting the site (or in determining whether a selected site is suitable) and in preparing the design of the works. This standard also discusses general aspects and planning of ground investigations, including the influence of general conditions and ground conditions of the selection of methods of investigation. Methods of ground investigation are discussed, sub-divided as follows: excavation, boring, sampling, probing and tests in boreholes; field tests; tests on samples.

The terminology and systems recommended for use in describing and classifying soil and rock materials and rock masses is also covered as is the preparation of field reports and final borehole logs, the interpretation of the data obtained from the investigation and the preparation of the final report.

History and related standards

BS 5930 supersedes BS 5931:1981, which is withdrawn.

BS 5930 includes the following cross references;

BS 812-2, BS 812-103, BS 812-105, BS 882, BS 1377-1:1990, BS 1377-2:1990,

BS 1377-3:1990, BS 1377-4:1990, BS 1377-5:1990, BS 1377-7:1990,

BS 1377-8:1990, BS 1377-9:1990, BS 1881-6, BS 1924-1, BS 4019-3:1993,

BS 4019-4:1993, BS 5493:1977, BS 6031, BS 6068-0:1995, BS 6068-2,

BS 6316:1992, BS 7361-1, BS 8004-1, CP 2012.

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