Geotechnical engineers carry out geotechnical studies as the first step in site construction or consolidation. It is meant to collect information on soil consistency and structure as well as groundwater level and quality. It includes drilling boreholes on the property. After the drilling, the collected ground samples are taken to a laboratory for analysis. Geotechnical engineers devise a report based on the results and field observations.

What are Geotechnical Studies?

Geotechnical studies include gathering information on the physical characteristics of soils and rocks a piece of land is composed of. They are performed by geotechnical engineers and geologists for earthwork designs and structure foundations. Surface and subsurface exploration, groundwater sampling, as well as lab analysis will help determine the response of soil to proposed changes. Also, an étude géotechnique is a requirement to obtain building permits for construction projects. Engineers need information such as building footprint, land area, land scope, common walls that have existing buildings, proximity to a source of water, building height, and geographical location to start the studies.

Importance of Geotechnical Studies

Property buyers will want to know what they are getting when they buy a piece of land. Because the unknown is often beneath the surface, it is important that they have a geotechnical study conducted. The majority of concerns are those that have to do with the stability of soil that can result in a settlement or other damage to the foundation over time. Therefore, it is important to take an in-depth look at the site’s geology and subsurface conditions.

Even if the buyer does not plan to build on the property, for sites that have existing builds, a geologic review of geotechnical study must be completed as part of the buyer’s due diligence. A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment provides data that can be used for creating a more comprehensive geotechnical examination report.

How is the Study Performed?

Geotechnical studies rely on different factors and those who conduct them must determine the report’s necessary scope and elements. The studies include categories such as surface and subsurface exploration, soil and water sampling, soil and water testing, as well as laboratory analysis. Also, the study includes geotechnical surface reconnaissance, geologic mapping, preliminary assessment, seismic design factors, as well as studies on landslide hazards and critical areas. Geotechnical engineers determine the steps to take in a specific case. To make a decision, they consider local requirements, codes, and their development plan.