Undertaking a geotechnical investigation on a site before building and construction begins is always a good long term investment. It is one of the best ways to protect your long-term investments and ensure that you will not have to grapple with long term site issues after sinking millions of dollars into a project.
There is a very good rationale for undertaking geotechnical investigation. Like weather, no one can be certain of what exists underneath the ground unless you dig it and carry out tests and analysis. Carrying out a geotechnical survey and determining the composition of the soil and surface beforehand will eventually results in great cost savings. Contractors can carry out long term projects on the site with a great deal of certainty.
There are risks that can occur when you build blindly without adequate survey. For example, you could have a foundation that is over-designed and you could end up changing the order quotes after some unforeseen situations occur. Even a cursory study will not be sufficient. Without a comprehensive data and recommendations which can only be unlocked through adequate geotechnical investigation, it will be difficult to know what is contained over a wider surface area where a project is to be undertaken.
Failing to carry out comprehensive geotechnical investigations means that the consultant will have to extrapolate on the missing pieces of soil data and make some guesstimates and assumptions on the possible site trends. This can raise the spectacle of inaccuracy and possible losses later on if the extrapolation does precisely map out and analyze the exact soil conditions.
Comprehensive geotechnical investigation is, therefore, in the interest of all parties. The project owner needs to know the exact ground conditions as well as a realistic cost of the foundation as well as the earthwork. For the consultant, accuracy will ensure they avoid back charges and a dent on their reputation if the analysis does not turned out as predicted. Structural engineers generally have the need to come up with a very economical design for the foundation. Architects working on a particular project need information on where the poor soils are located so as to avoid them during the construction. Contractors also need accurate geotechnical investigations because they need to provide an accurate and realistic price for the project to the owner.
Everyone involved in a project generally knows what to expect beneath the ground. Geotechnical investigation will provide the answers. To realize this, project owners also need to have a very good service scope. A good scope definition will assist the geotechnical engineer in several ways. These include the following:
· They are able to get background information about the history of the project site.
· It offers a background study on the soil maps as well as samples that have been taken on adjacent projects which can provide a basis for comparison.
· The geotechnical engineer is able to carry out an appropriate number of soil excavations and borings based on the scope definition.
· Allows identification of rock and groundwater locations.
· They are able to recommend the appropriate construction techniques based on the investigations.
The soil reported provided by the geotechnical investigation engineer generally contains lots of information. Every test and observation that is carried out can offer clues on the ground conditions. For the large projects, these clues could be in the hundreds and these must all be analyzed in order to come up with a clear picture of the ground. Contractors need to find geotechnical investigations consultants capable of carrying out competent tests, analysis, recommendations and prepare reports that will be useful for the project.