Dream House, Wrong Location: A Compact Solution

Porous soils don't make good foundations for any type of construction. Porosity is among various undesirable qualities that may stand in the way of your residential development plans.

What's a prospective homeowner to do? Do you look for a different location because the soils in your dream location lack the capacity to support the kind of house you want to build?  Or do you stick with the dream location and look for ways to beat porosity out of its soils? If the second option sounds more appealing, here's what you need to know.


Compaction is your 'magic' bullet in the battle against porosity. Porosity in soil results from the presence of large, frequently-occurring air spaces in between soil particles. The large spaces allow water to drain through soil with minimal resistance.

Compaction refers to a number of strategies aimed at reducing the size of air spaces within the soil and reducing their frequency of occurrence. Compacted soils have a higher density, and they can bear the weight of heavier structures.

The Two Types Of Compaction

Compaction can be done using a static force or a dynamic force. The two compaction methods are named after the type of force used to achieve the desired effect.

Road rollers are perhaps the best example of equipment used for static soil compaction. Also known as soil compactors, these machines can weigh upwards of 70000lbs. They use their weight to exert a force that acts downward on the soil, thereby eliminating air spaces and bringing soil particles closer together.

Under dynamic compaction, a drop weight provides the force required. Made from hardened plates of steel, the drop weight is lifted using a crane or boom before it's allowed to drop on pre-determined locations within the area of compaction. Locations that will have been determined using a grid pattern developed in accordance with the condition of sub-surface soil and the desired level of compaction.

The Alternative Type Of Compaction

Static/dynamic compaction techniques may not be suitable for small-sized lots. Due to their bulky nature, equipment used for static/dynamic compaction might have difficulty accessing and/or operating within a small lot.

For such cases, laboratory compaction is the best alternative. Soil samples are shipped to a laboratory where the compaction takes place before the samples are re-introduced on-site. This is referred to as ex-situ compaction. Static/dynamic techniques are used for in-situ soil compaction.

Don't give up your dream location under the pretext of soil porosity. There's a 'compact' solution! For more information, contact a road stabilisation and soil compaction service.