What’s involved in a Geotechnical Engineering Report?

A Geotechnical Engineering report is required when determining the needs of any man made structure, to define the required material properties of construction materials and the way these will interact with the soil, rock, and bedrock on the site of the proposed structure.

Geotechnical Engineers are the people who analyze the way the geotechnical conditions on a site, for example the soil, bed-rock and groundwater, will interact with the building, to determine the structural engineering requirements.

This requires a geotechnical investigation and the typical steps involved include:

  • Calculating the magnitude of the loads to be supported;
  • Performing Geotechnical investigations to explore the subsurface of a proposed site;
  • Identify soil parameters through field and lab testing and, on the basis of the findings;
  • Making design recommendations with regard to the buildings foundations, so they are constructed in the safest and most economical manner possible.

golden-gate-bridgeAll manner of infrastructure, including houses, high rise office towers, roads, bridges, dams and tunnels need their proposed site, and sometimes the surrounding areas, to be analyzed to ensure their construction plans meet required engineering standards. These standards assure the soundness and safety of the proposed structure before the project is developed.
The primary considerations for foundation support are bearing capacity, settlement, and ground movement beneath the foundations. Bearing capacity is the ability of the site soils to support the loads imposed by buildings or structures.

Subsurface Geotechnical Investigations

To obtain information about the soil, rock and groundwater conditions below the surface, some form of subsurface exploration is required. For this to happen, geotechnical engineers use various methods to obtain relevant samples so they can determine the physical properties of the soils and rocks at the site.

Geotechnical Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing is performed on site samples, for example soil, bedrock and groundwater as well as  the building materials to measure a wide variety of properties so as to determine the way the buildings weight bearing forces will interact on the site. The results of these tests are then used by geotechnical engineers to make appropriate recommendations about building materials and construction methods which they will put into a Geotechnical site report.