Our experienced geotechnical staff are happy to provide guidance and advice on appropriate ground investigation techniques on an informal basis.
A construction project may be at risk if adverse or unexpected ground conditions are not recognised at an early stage. Last minute design changes, delays and additional costs can be avoided by conducting a thorough ground investigation.
However, the investigative work must be designed to ensure a suitably focussed ground investigation is carried out, that is relevant to the project, the anticipated ground conditions and likely geohazards. And in accordance with the current industry Standards.
SOCOTEC's geotechnical team carry out 'Desk Study' type appraisals which examine available information from published resources, as well as our in-house database from over 70 years of ground investigation projects. Undertaking site reconnaissance ('Walk-over Survey') adds valuable information as well.
Obtaining an initial understanding of the ground conditions in relation to the proposed construction/development intended for a site, enables appropriate ground investigation to be designed. Key to this is the need to recover representative specimens of the ground, both for inspection – to assess the geological context and the behavioural type of the material – and for geotechnical laboratory testing. Understanding what information is required by the designer will dictate the laboratory test types, therefore the sample quality types, and therefore the investigative methods to obtain them.
The 'Desk Study report' contains the source information and assessment, and can include a costed scope of ground investigation.
Geotechnical engineering interpretation
Our geotechnical team carry out engineering assessment and interpretative work from ground investigation to provide information including:
- ground conditions - vertical and lateral variation of soil and rock types
- groundwater depths and pressures
- engineering parameters for design - eg density, strength, stiffness/compressiblilty, consolidation characteristics, permeability
- foundation options
- bearing capacity and settlement for shallow and piled foundations
- excavation methods and support requirements
- slope stability
- ground improvement
- reuse of material