Contamination and Geotechnical Services

AAe undertake a range of services examining the environmental and geotechnical properties of land. These range from undertaking Due Diligence during land or business acquisition to the investigation, assessment and remediation of brownfield land.

Our geo-environmental services are undertaken using established partnering firms to provide a high standard of delivery.

AAe staff have been investigating, assessing and remediating land contamination for over 25 years. Our specialist consultants are experts in characterising land quality at a site and developing robust mitigation and remedial solutions to regenerate land.

Our contaminated land service is provided at a range of scales, from single properties to national infrastructure works.

We initially undertake a desktop study (phase 1) to provide an initial site characterisation to determine the need for an investigation (Phase 2). The service relies on our site investigationand field monitoring expertise. From the Phase 2 Process we refine the characteristics of the site, including groundwater and soil contamination. Works include site specific assessments to determine the need for remediation.

In the event the site is significantly contaminated, AAe project manage remedial activities with the Client and specialist contractors.

We project manage the works providing validation to demonstrate a site is suitable for use and the environment is protected from harm.

The AAe geo-environmental team undertake intrusive investigations to determine the environmental and geotechnical properties of developments, waste and regeneration sites. The selection of technique depends upon the proposed development and purpose of the investigation.

Investigation techniques include:

  • hand-pitting
  • soakaway tests (BRE Digest 365)
  • trial pitting and trenching
  • Window Sampling, rotary, dynamic probing and cable percussive boreholes
  • DCP and plate bearing tests

AAe are not constrained by any one technique and can tailor solutions to Client requirements for both optimum results and cost effectiveness.

All soils are logged to industry standards and samples managed in line with quality procedures. Environmental and geotechnical analysis are undertaken at partnering UKAS and MCERTs accredited laboratories where we have long standing relationships.

In addition to laboratory works, AAe field teams can undertake a variety of on-site testing of soils, gas and groundwater.

AAe team undertake routine monitoring of air, ground gas, groundwater, surface water and soil quality.

This service is undertaken to high standards in line with industry best practice.

Techniques include:

Environmental monitoring

  • Ground and landfill gas monitoring
  • Groundwater monitoring, level logging and quality
    • Grab sampling
    • Low flow techniques
    • Standard flow techniques
    • Multi-level monitoring
  • VOC testing in air and soils (head space)
  • Soil quality using XRF for metals and GC FID techniques for PAH and TPH

Geotechnical field testing

  • Dynamic Cone Penetrometer
  • Mexe Probe Testing
  • Hand shear vane
  • On site gradings

AAe can provide a range of soils and water testing services using our laboratory partners and our onsite testing services to provide specialised environmental and geotechnical advice.

These testing and classification services include:

  • Environmental properties of soils and water to determine suitability for use
  • Properties of soils and liquids for waste classification using solids and Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC).
  • Top soil classification in line with BS3882:2015
  • Laboratory permeability testing
  • Aggregate and engineering fill gradings, constituents and performance properties
  • Geotechnical analysis including shear strength, compaction and plastcicity
  • Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) testing
  • Trommel fines
  • PFA/IBAA properties

AAe expertise in land quality, materials and geotechnical assessment provides expert in assisting contractors and developers with developing Material Management Plans (MMP).

These plans are based upon the CL:AIRE Definition of Waste Code of Practice and define the point of recovery for excavated material on and off site.

Since 2011 AAe have developed and submitted in excess of 50 Material Management Plans for direct transfer and re-use on site


A routine component of AAe’s work is assisting companies with the classification of waste soils to determine whether they are inert, non-hazardous or hazardous. Testing is undertaken as part of the site investigation and can include onsite testing. 

We can undertake the assessment from third party or from our testing data.

Works can include detailed investigations, spatially defining areas by waste type to maximise re-use and minimise disposal.

All analysis is undertaken in line with contemporary guidelines including the Environment Agency guidance WM3.