Project Description

Limestone solution feature investigation

Limestone solution features and old swimming pools challenge the timings of a local school project

In 2017, SWJ partnered with Infrastruct, Witney to work on The Deer Park School and their proposed two storey extension. The project proved to be complicated and challenging, due to a disused swimming pool lying beneath the school and the new foundations, and the possibility of limestone solution features on the site.

Phase 1: The site investigation report commissioned by the client highlighted possible difficulties with the underlying limestone. The client’s geotechnical specialists’ initial solution was to undertake boreholes across the site to a depth of 15m at an additional cost of £12,000 which would have led to a delay of six weeks to the programme.

However, we knew that because the rock is often encountered as a veneer overlaying clay in Cirencester, we recommended that we use the digger on site to see how far the limestone went and prove our suspicions were correct. As predicted, after digging down the limestone revealed itself to be only a veneer and the team managed to save the project a significant amount of money and prevent any unnecessary delay.


Project Team

Client: Deer Park School

Architect: Roberts Limbrick

Contractor: Feltham Construction

Project Manager: Magna

Phase 2: Beneath the site of an old part of the building which was demolished ready to build a new classroom block, a swimming pool is buried. Using virtual design and construction we were able to design and test the foundations around the disused swimming pool.

Our local knowledge saved the project from an unbudgeted expense and a delay that would have disrupted the beginning of the new school year. Questioning assumptions and testing them physically where possible enables us to repeatedly find practical and efficient solutions. The use of technology and our investment in modelling software enables us to adapt to challenges and test solutions virtually.

If your project is challenging due to existing substructures or contact SWJ Consulting on 01993 225085 or email to discuss your requirements.