Asking a geotechnical engineer for advice can make a huge difference at critical times on a project. Geotechnical engineering services cover issues related to construction, infrastructure, retrofitting, and even landscaping.
Here are five situations that call for geotechnical engineering support.
Choosing Sites for Construction or Infrastructure
Selecting the right site for a project may save you significant time and money. A geotechnical engineering firm can ass multiple proposed locations for projects. They can look at a host of possible problems, including issues with rock formations, soil stability, earthquake risks, landslides, and groundwater.
Picking the most stable site might significantly reduce the amount of necessary structural engineering required. Suppose one location has excellent bedrock in a good spot for anchoring a foundation for a large building. An alternative site might be more appealing in other ways, but solving its problems could require extensive structural and geotechnical engineering work. Worse, it could require decades of retrofits if the initial work doesn't entirely solve the present problems.
It is easy to think of drainage system projects as mostly dealing with water. However, the geology of a location frequently is the main thing that dictates its hydrological issues. Knowing the permeability of the soil, for example, will tell the site will likely need complex drainage systems. You can then plan accordingly and avert potential problems with erosion, pollution, flooding, and landslides.
Manmade earthworks still have geotechnical engineering challenges. If you've ever driven down the interstate and hit a slight rut at the edge of a bridge, you've likely encountered soil that subsided slightly after the bridge's construction. Ideally, a geotechnical engineering services company can calculate how much the earthworks will change due to time, weather, wear and tear, and gravity. Not only does this reduce nuisances, but it can save on repair and maintenance costs over the structure's lifetime.
Tunneling or Mining
Putting holes in the ground inherently affects the surrounding earth. Organizations tunneling into the ground need to study the geotechnical implications of their projects. They can then choose an appropriate support system for the tunnel or mine. Moving forward, they also can implement monitoring systems to ensure they'll stay ahead of potential changes.
Analyzing natural and man-made disasters can provide information about what to do in the future. Many structural failures trace back to geotechnical engineering problems that went overlooked or undetected. Engineers can collect data, model the events, and report on lessons learned.