Building a hotel requires you to take the place where it will be built into great consideration. After choosing the plot of land for the hotel, it might need to be evaluated for any improvements that would optimize it for building. One such improvement includes environmental remediation. In some cases, the land might be polluted or contaminated, and it can pose a great risk to your health, as well as that of hotel staff and visitors. To this end, builders implement in-situ stabilization and solidification, which comprise one of the more commonly used methods of site remediation. In-situ stabilization and solidification are sometimes collectively referred to as in-situ treatment, or simply known by the initials “S/S.”
With in-situ treatment, the soil is treated without actually removing the soil itself. Thus this type of site remediation bears the prefix in-situ, which stands for “in an original or natural place or position.” By contrast, ex-situ treatment requires technicians to excavate the contaminated soil for treatment at the surface.
Stabilization vs. Solidification
Some geoscientists group stabilization and solidification together because they fall into the same category of site remediation. However, in-situ stabilization and in-situ solidification are different in how they treat the soil in its natural position. With in-situ stabilization, technicians infuse agents so that they can react to the chemicals in the soil; these agents are specifically called reagents. That way, technicians can analyze the contaminated area, and the results of the analyses can help in coming up with more chemically stable components for the soil. With in-situ solidification, the reagents solidify the contaminants, rather than react with them. The solidification is meant to keep the contaminants in place, thus drastically limiting their power or mobility. Also, the reagents reduce the amount of air, water, and other external agents that penetrate the soil.
People who go with the in-situ treatment method mix soil in augers, rotary drum mixers, or excavator buckets. However, augers—which are shafts that include rotating helical screw blades—are the most ideal for mixing. In addition to their remarkable ability in moving granular material, augers are the only devices that can stabilize materials deeper than 15 feet from the surface. Portland cement tends to be the choice for in-situ solidification, since it is versatile, provides remarkable strength, and is cheap to acquire. Some people mix additives like activated carbon, bentonite, blast furnace slag, cement kiln dust, and fly ash into the cement to enhance the treatment process.
No plot of land is guaranteed to be acceptable for hotel construction without at least an inspection. There might have been an accident, spill during transportation, or leakage from waste disposal at the site, thus allowing pollutants to enter the soil. It is recommended that you and your builder conduct an environmental site assessment, which has standards set and enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Phase I of the ESA typically includes the preparation of a report to bring existing and potential risks to your attention. Phase II of the process is more detailed since it involves chemical analysis of the contaminants detected in the soil.