What is a phase 1 desk study?

A phase 1 desk study assessment is carried out as the first stage of a site investigation to look at the ground conditions of a site, review existing information, and help plan the scope of the subsequent stages of investigations.

Desk studies generally include a visual inspection of the site and its surrounding area (usually called ‘site reconnaissance visit’).

These are then compiled with a review of geotechnical and geo-environmental information from a variety of sources, both statutory and non-statutory to identify potential ‘sources’ of contamination, ‘receptors’ which may be at risk (e.g. end users of the development, controlled waters, neighbouring properties and site users), and the ‘pathways’ in which they may be transmitted.

These ‘potential-pollutant-linkages’ are then used to develop an outline site conceptual model of the site – an essential part of the information required by the Environment Agency whenever they are consulted in the planning process.

Why do I need one? – A desk study saves time and money! By evaluating the ground conditions and site history early on, a desk study helps identify potential risks early on in the project and enables appropriate management of identified risks.

Through the development of a site conceptual model, it is possible to build up a better understanding of the ground conditions of the site which helps avoid money being wasted on inappropriate ground investigations and aids the formulation of efficient design for subsequent works (such as foundations and retaining walls etc).

How can RSA Geotechnics help?- We will work with you to develop a suitable scope for your desk study which takes into account the location, size and complexity of the proposed site, to ensure that you have an investigation that suits your exact requirements. For more information, please contact: enquiries@rsa-geotechnics.co.uk