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  • Writer's pictureJames Brokenshire

How a geotechnical soil report can save you time and money

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Geotechnical soil report

Often when a potential Client calls our consultancy they ask, “Do I need a geotechnical report.”

My answer is always a resounding yes, not because we want just their work, but because to say no in my opinion would be bad advice and I would take some professional risk if I said no. The work we do for them could potentially save them a lot of money and stress.

Before you purchase land, finalise your development plans or start clearing your site on any new development project, I would recommend you carry out a geotechnical investigation.

Look at a geotechnical report as a kind of insurance, or land WOF.

The geotechnical engineer will visit site, carry out field observations, test the subsurface soil conditions, carry out lab tests and collate all the information into a geotechnical report.

The geotechnical report will provide information about the ground conditions that may impact design and construction of the project, make recommendations on foundations, whether ground improvement is necessary or if pile foundations may be required.

I’m surprised people take the risk of getting to the construction stage of their project with no idea what the ground underlying the building is like. There is a big risk of encountering unfavourable ground conditions, resulting in delays on site, possible last minute changes in foundation design and off course, a rise in costs.

A recent example Shire Geotechnics Ltd was involved in was a prime example of this. The builder started to strip the site and found areas of organic soft soils under the topsoil.

Luckily the builder was experienced and confident enough to stop the job and ask for professional geotechnical advice. To cut a long story short, the job was delayed with a digger sitting on site for over a week, the foundation system had to be redesigned, with the majority of the building needing to be supported on piles.

When geotechnical engineers get involved and involved early we can provide greater value to the owner.

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