Cardiff Docks


Terra Firma (South) has extensive experience of geotechnical and geo-environmental investigation of brown field sites. This allows developers to comply with both the requirements of Local Authority Planning Departments, and the Environment Agency.


Terra Firma (South) acted as geo-technical contracting engineers for the proposed placement of a new 760 tonne mobile crane at Queen Alexandra Dock, Cardiff. The dock wall was constructed in 1907 and the purpose of the investigation was to assess the structural makeup of the dock wall and underlying geology.

The investigation involved rotary coring of five boreholes in total. Two through the dock wall, two situated behind, and one inclined borehole through the front toe of the wall.

The purpose of the inclined hole was to investigate the underlying geology beyond the front toe of the wall. The site investigation made several discoveries- the first being that the structural makeup consisted of a blinding layer of concrete placed directly on top of the weathered Mercia Mudstone Group, at a maximum depth of 21.00mbgl. It also revealed that sandstone blocks were placed in a masonry fashion to make up the remaining wall to ground level. Lime mortar was used to cement the blocks together and the investigation showed this had deteriorated heavily in places throughout the wall. All of these factors were causing problems in the incline hole, which along with the difficulties of working on an active dock with high security constraints, made this a challenging project.

However, efficient and effective project planning and management by Terra Firma (South) facilitated the successful delivery of this project, which was completed to an excellent standard, on time and within budget.

Terra Firma (South) was able to expertly manage tight security restrictions, difficult site area to time constraints and complex risk assessment parameters of this project.

For more information, click here: Cardiff Docks and Cardiff Bay.

We're proud to provide competitive prices for a professional service, which is always personally delivered and would greatly appreciate your consideration for any future projects you may have. You can get in touch using the form or our contact details below.

01647 252414