One of the most important aspects in the planning of a construction project such as buildings, slopes, retaining walls, basins, landfills, excavation support, underpinning, roadways, and bridges is knowing the subsurface conditions. A geotechnical investigation allows engineers to do just that.
Engineering designers will be able to make vital decisions concerning the critical aspects of the foundations and earthworks for a project.
Given its relevance, let’s take a deeper look at the topic ‘Geotechnical Investigations: What to Expect” to learn more about what it is and what it entails.
What is a Geotechnical Investigation?
A geotechnical investigation is an analysis of the subsurface soil, groundwater, and rock conditions at a particular development site. One of the primary uses of the data geologists and geotechnical engineers obtain during this step is to help them understand what type of foundation they should use in new structures. Investigations typically occur in two phases. The first phase is a review of geologis maps and any historical data for the site followed by a site reconnaissance to look for any site features that may impact development. Scope of work is developed which takes into consideration the information from the initial phase. This work scope typically consists of a subsurface investigation plan. This plan can include test borings, test pits, cone penetrometer testing (CPT) along with more sophisticated methods. It can also include non-intrusive geophysical testing such as seismic reflection or refraction, multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW), electrical resistivity, micro-gravity, or other non-intrusive techniques. The scope of testing is generally governed by the type of construction, site setting, and budgetary constraints.
What to Expect After a Geotechnical Investigation?
After the subsurface investigation is completed, our engineers will then develop specific geotechnical criteria concerning the foundations to use, stability of slopes, pavements, earthworks, and groundwater control.
Generally speaking, this entails the following tasks:
- ●Investigating and determining the subsurface soil and rock profile along with the groundwater conditions of the construction site.
- ●Providing the appropriate recommendations for the design of the foundation, slabs, pavements, earthworks, embankments/slopes, and other features related to the subsurface.
- ● Design and recommendations for the construction of asphalt/concrete pavements for roadways and parking lots and structural slabs.
- ●Recommendations on how to go about preparing the site and for surface drainage and groundwater control.
- ●Evaluation of risk that may lead to cost overruns during construction.
Such criteria are essential in allowing structural design engineers to plan for the type of foundation system and safe load-bearing capacity for structures to limit total and differential settlement to acceptable levels. Also included are anticipated lateral forces on the structures. Geotechnical investigation is, therefore, critical to the success of a construction project since it directly affects its overall safety and effectiveness once complete.
How Earth Engineering Incorporated Can Help
People who are looking for geotechnical construction in NJ and PA will find the experts they need at Earth Engineering Incorporated (EEI). We are a full-service geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting firm in the Philadelphia region that serves and operates within the Tri-State area.
Our team is composed of professional engineers and geologists who are experts in providing geotechnical investigation solutions to assess the ground conditions of a construction site. We also specialize in environmental testing in PA and NJ to further improve the compliance and safety of any upcoming project.
At EEI, our commitment to all of our clients is what separates us from other providers out there. We treat each project like our own and we incorporate a well-rounded approach no matter the size of the task at hand.
As specialists in geotechnical engineering, we’ll ensure that our solutions are cost-effective for our clients. We use methods that have been proven to efficiently gather site data while keeping construction expenses under control.
Additionally, our engineers will know what your site needs and what materials you can use to minimize cost while ensuring the best constructability of your structures. Want to learn more? Call us at 610-277-0880 or contact us for more information on our geotechnical investigation solutions.