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Report on Site Visit at Thomson Road

Prepared for

Mr Tan Kim Leong


Singapore Polytechnic


Fairuz Sufyan

Student, DCEM/FT/2B/04

Singapore Polytechnic


1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Background
1.3 Method of Investigation
1.4 Scope of Investigation
2. Machineries and plants
2.1 Machineries used
2.2 Plants used
3. Substructure System
4. Method Statement on Site Visit
4.1 Safety
4.2 Piling
5. Types of Geotechnical Ground Instruments



On the 23/11/2009, we went to the VIVA site @ Thomson Tiong Aik
Site for some hands on/review on an actual construction site. The
objective of the site visit was mainly to familiarise ourselves with the
operations at a construction site.

During the site visit, we were exposed to various construction

methods, machineries and also had the chance to observe the
construction of piles. At that time of the visit, the construction works
were only at the piling stage. Thus, there was nothing much to
observe. However, we were also given the opportunity to experience
the construction machineries at work. We learnt the importance of a
tidy and organised working environment, as well as safety equipments.

The site consisted of many possible death threats or potential

threats where fatal accidents can occur. Upon arrival, we were all
inspected – the management had to ensure that we were all properly
attired with safety gear and covered shoes before we were allowed to
go in. It was a standard protocol at all construction sites. Safety is after
all the most important aspect in a construction project.

This outdoor experience provided us with a more in-depth and

hands on experience on Civil Engineering Construction. We were able
to question, understand and absorb the logic behind the machineries,
construction techniques, and methodology theory learnt in class.

Fairuz Sufyan

1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose of visit –

The purpose of the site visit was simple – we needed to understand and visualise the theory taught in class. The
site visit would allow us to have a hand on review and a clear understanding on constructing.

1.2 Background –
Developer of VIVA : Thomson Peak Pte Ltd (Subsidiary of Allgreen Properties Limited)

The proposed condominium would consist of 3 – blocks of 30 – storey

condominium with a basement car park, communal facilities and a swimming

Site Location: 28, Suffolk Walk

Site Area: 11,901.30 sq m / 128,105.59 sq ft

Total Units: 235

Expected Date of Completion: 30 June 2016

Recreational Facilities @ Viva:

Lap Pool
Kids Pool
Kids Playground
BBQ Pavilions
Landscape Pavilions
Tennis Courts
Basketball Half-Court
Golf Practice Range
Badminton Court
Outdoor Fitness Stations
Function Room With Gym
Children's Room

Project Consultant:

Architect : Design Link Architects

: Belt Collins International (S) Ltd
Showflat ID : Suying Design Pte Ltd
Main Contractor : Tiong Aik Construction Pte Ltd
Ramdas & Wong
36, Robinson Road, #10-01, City House Singapore
Solicitor :

1.3 Method of Investigation

All data collated for the report have been gathered from various internet websites, and the during the site visit

1.4 Scope of Investigation

The collated data has been cross referred for validity in this (VIVA) project.
1. Machineries and Plants

2.1 Machineries

i) Excavator

A Caterpillar excavator has a backhoe with "thumb" attachment. The bucket is raked
toward the machine to create a trench or pit. The lower jaw "thumb" enables large
objects to be moved and 'grabbing' building components during demolition. Most
excavators have the bucket fitted without the thumb attachment.
ii) Bulldozer

A bulldozer is a crawler (caterpillar tracked tractor), equipped with a substantial metal

plate (known as a blade) used to push large quantities of soil, sand, rubble, etc., during
construction work and typically equipped at the rear with a claw-like device (known as a
ripper) to loosen densely-compacted materials.

iii) Pile Driver

A pile driver is a mechanical device used to drive piles into soil to provide foundation
support for buildings or other structures. The term is also used in reference to members
of the construction crew that work with pile-driving rigs.

iv) Crane

A crane is a lifting machine, generally equipped with a winder (also called a wire rope
drum), wire ropes or chains and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower
materials and to move them horizontally. It uses one or more simple machines to create
mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of a human.
Cranes are commonly employed in the transport industry for the loading and unloading
of freight, in the construction industry for the movement of materials and in the
manufacturing industry for the assembling of heavy equipment.

(Picture of crane parts :

2. Substructure System

Substructure system of the Site

During the site visit, I noticed how well the place was organised. There were sufficient
and adequate substructures used to aid in the construction of the site.

There were various platforms and supports that were visible. The platforms were made to
support the load of the machineries as well as the workers.

It is evident that sub structuring before a project is imminent is important.

Substructures aid constructors in building the primary structures.

3. Method Statement

4.1 Safety

The first step to determining a good construction environment would be safety. The
emphasis for safety can never be enough – everyone working at the construction site
would have to be geared with safety equipments. Some of the basics are like wearing a
helmet, and wearing boots. This is to ensure that we would be less vulnerable to

With safety covered, workers are prepared/geared to do most of the construction jobs.
There are some that still require some profession.
This is a construction technique in a way because it boosts morale by giving everyone
that security of being safe, or less prone to accidents.

The safety precautions needed during the piling works are as followed:

– Safety helmet
– Adequate support of all sides of excavation to prevent soil movement.
– Adequate support of adjacent structures to be maintained.
– Maintain safe access and exit to basement at all times.
– Wear protective clothing including a belt/harness.
– Erect barricades/barriers around excavated site to prevent people from
accidentally falling in.

These few precautions are visible during our site visit.


During our visit, we only witnessed the early stages of a construction project. At the site,
we were only able to see half-built piles. Therefore it can easily be said that they are still
constructing the piles. However, I was unable to know for sure if a pile driver was used to
drive the pile in. The picture provided below shows the workers and machineries being
used. The erected columns visible are the incomplete piles.

Basement Excavation
The following are the common methods of excavating a basement:
• Open-cut method.
• Excavation supported by cofferdams.
• Excavation supported by reinforced concrete diaphragm walls constructed in advance
the main excavation.
• Excavation supported by contiguous bored piles or secant piles walls constructed in
advance of the main excavation.
• Excavation supported by soldier pile walls.
Whichever method is chosen, it is essential that the ground water is properly controlled.

Soldier Piles

The excavation is supported by soldier piles. Soldier piles consist of horizontal timber
lagging that spans across a series of vertical wide flange steel members embedded into
the ground.

They often use temporary retaining structures for excavation and construction of a

These temporary structures are visible in the picture above.

The method consists of boring holes along the wall line, typically 2 to 3 m centres,
vertical steel soldier piles within the holes and concreting the base of each joist below
formation level. As earth is removed, horizontal timber lagging are wedged between the
soldier piles to retain the soil outside the excavation. The soldier piles and lagging may
removed after construction of the basement has been completed.

2. Geotechnical Instrumentations

What is Geotechnical Engineering?

Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the

engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering includes investigating
existing subsurface conditions and materials; determining their physical/mechanical and
chemical properties that are relevant to the project considered, assessing risks posed by
site conditions; designing earthworks and structure foundations; and monitoring site
conditions, earthwork and foundation construction.

i) Geotechnical Engineering is used to analyse the ground/soil of the

planned site.

Inclinometers – to monitor lateral movements in embankments and landslide areas,

of retaining structures and piles, and deformation of excavation walls. It is installed in a
vertical borehole that passes through suspected zones of movement into stable ground.
Water Standpipes - to monitor the ground water level, control the rate of dewatering in
excavation work and monitor seepage. It involves drilling a 150 mm borehole to the
depth, lowering the 50 mm standpipe into the borehole, backfill with sand, terminate the
tubing at the surface and place a protective cap at the top of the tube.

Pneumatic Piezometers - to monitor pore pressure, to determine the stability of slopes,

embankments and ground water movement.

Tilt Meters - to monitor changes in the inclination of a structure, to provide an accurate

movement of a structure and early warning of potential structural damage.

ii) Managing the instruments

It is vital to provide protection to these instruments from damage as this could lead to
intermittent or complete loss of acquisition of data. Instrumentation readings can be
locally or using data-loggers to provide real-time monitoring for critical areas of the
construction to ensure grester safety on site. In order for such a comprehensive
instrumentation scheme to be effective, it is essential that the following rules be
• The instrumentation must be installed properly.
• The reading must be taken and recorded properly.
• The readings must be interpreted correctly.
Any signs of abnormal ground movement must be communicated immediately to all
involved in the construction so that effective remedial actions can be taken in a timely
or contingency plans activated.

These are common instruments that can be found at excavation sites.

Proposed Architecture of the VIVA condominium.
Site Plan