Are you moving soil off your sites?

25 Jul 2019


We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries for ENM/VENM soil testing from builders and developers needing to remove soil off site. In simple terms councils want to know that any soil being removed off a site is clean or contaminated and it doesn’t matter if it’s moved to another site or to a landfill tip, council will/may require an ENM/VENM assessment.

For us the ENM/VENM enquiries started in the regions north of Sydney but has now become an issue for builders and cartage firms throughout NSW.

Loads are being stopped and inspected to ensure contractors are meeting their obligations when removing spoil. The fines for not being compliant are not for the fainthearted. If you haven’t come across this requirement yet we wanted to give you some information, so you’re prepared if you’re asked to provide an ENM/VENM assessment.

What is ENM/VENM?
Our Geotechnical Engineer, Dane Dwyer kindly supplied us with the relevant area of the code.

Let’s start with what is VENM, which stands for virgin excavated natural material
The EPA definition is as follows (we have edited it for simplicity)
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) defines virgin excavated natural material (VENM) as:

Natural material (such as clay, gravel, sand, soil or rock fines):

(a) that has been excavated or quarried from areas that are not contaminated with manufactured chemicals, or with process residues, as a result of industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural activities and

(b) that does not contain any sulfidic ores or soils or any other waste

and includes excavated natural material that meets such criteria for virgin excavated natural material as may be approved for the time being pursuant to an EPA Gazettal notice.’ Virgin excavated natural material (VENM) is a waste that has been pre-classified as general solid waste (non-putrescible).

Is there any other waste present?
By definition, VENM cannot contain any other waste, or be ‘made’ from processed soils. Excavated material that has been processed in any way cannot be classified as VENM.

In summary, we feel it is important to raise industry matters with our builders so they can get on the front foot and be well prepared in their building process as well as controlling their costs. We can assist you with VENM/ENM testing as part of your Lot Classification or as a standalone test. Lot Classifications can now be ordered online.

Make sure you’ve factored the cost of ENM/VENM testing into your next build budget.

Contact us for more info


You can now order Lot Classifications online – Another first for the industry!

07 May 2018


Order Lot Classifications online. Another first for Ideal Geotech!

Saving of time and simplicity is what customers consistently demand from Ideal Geotech’s lot classifications. In keeping with their on-time focus Ideal Geotech have created another first for the Geotechnical industry, with their new online ordering for account customers. Submitted orders go straight into the customised scheduling system with the allocated zone for quicker allocation to one of their field/soil technicians. Customers now have one place to enter orders and see previously submitted orders, leaving behind the emails, faxes and who sent what when. Yes, it’s easy to say we’re on time, right? So to prove it, account customers are provided with a tracker report. It’s like a report card that measures turnaround times of lot classifications against agreed lead times. This is the same report used internally to make sure they are “on time”.

If you’re chasing where that order is at, who sent it and just need to be on time with your customers then contact Ideal Geotech and start ordering online.

A Fixed Price For Foundations… Really?

28 Feb 2018

A builder who knows his numbers are fixed!

Foundation work has just started on a set of 33 two storey units in Camden South, South West of Sydney. The builder/developer is also currently completing another project where the Ideal Foundations team installed screw piers for a 22 unit project in Oran Park. The speed in which they got out of the ground on the previous site was one of the defining reasons to do same on the their new 33 unit project plus the added bonus of having their foundation costs fixed.

Like the previous site Ideal Foundations assisted in their redesign away from bored concrete piers to screw piers. This was achieved by conducting a thorough geotechnical report across the site which also enabled Ideal’s engineer’s to determine founding depth and fix the cost of foundations. The geotechnical report also identified acid sulphate soil, which means the screw piers will be core filled with concrete for the required design life.

Here’s what the numbers look like:

  • 33 two storey units
  • 1000 screw piers (approx. 30 per unit)
  • 2 – 3m deep screw piers

All this at a fixed price.

G.J. Gardner Variety Freedom House Raises $375,000

20 Oct 2017

G.J. Gardner Variety Freedom House

G.J. Gardner Homes Australia (Penrith, NSW) has achieved a great result for Variety – The children’s charity.

The Penrith team built a brand new 4 bedroom home in Redbank Estate in North Richmond (NSW), which was auctioned last weekend with $375,000 going to Variety charity to help and change the lives of many Australian children. Digging of the house foundations began in March this year and the house was completed by September ready for the pre auction open home viewing. See the building journey captured along the way – #varietyfreedomhouse

Variety Facebook page

G.J. Gardner Homes – Sydney West Facebook page

Our Ideal Geotech soil technicians and geotechnical engineers played a small part at the start of the project by carry out onsite soil investigation and laboratory soil testing.

We’re proud to have played our little part on this worthy project.



Ideal Geotech Rigs swarm over a Central Coast Subdivision

02 Jun 2017

Our client needed a fast response for 21 lot classifications on a new development in the Central Coast of NSW. We were able assist quickly by sending four soil technicians to complete the testing within a day. We also took the opportunity to shoot a video showing the type of work our geotechnical technicians carry out. We will release that video onto our home page when it’s completed but for now we’ve started with a fun behind the scenes video.

1100 Residential Homes Project – Frasers Property

12 Dec 2014

Ideal foundations screw piers being installed on Fairwater Development for Fraser Property

In May 2014 we began work on the amenities building for Australand Property Group who are redeveloping the Ashlar Golf Course in the Blacktown NSW. The development called Fairwater is planned to build approximately 1100 homes. Ideal Foundations worked with Australand to develop a fixed price solution for the project. With the project now under the new brand of Frasers Property Australiain we’re in full swing installing screw piers. To find out more visit


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