How much do you know about the ground where you are building or working? It's easy to get caught up in designing a building that is architecturally beautiful and perfectly suited to its purpose, but if the area where it will be sited won't support the building because of a problem with the soil, then you are just wasting your time. Alternatively, perhaps the soil could be fine but the site has other contamination issues that are not immediately apparent. Hiring a geotechnical engineer is the best way to ensure that any structures you design will be stable and well-matched to their environment.
How does a geotechnical engineer work?
When you call in a geotechnical engineer, they will be charged with making a technical evaluation of your proposed building site to see whether the area can support what you want to build. They will examine not only the physical properties of the soil but also the chemical and mechanical properties. They will take samples from the soil, both on the surface and at depth to determine the state of the natural materials. All of the samples that they take will be subject to detailed analysis.
How does a geotechnical engineer help you?
The analysis conducted by the geotechnical engineer will enable them to determine how capable the soil is of supporting any proposed building. You will need the results of their analysis to work out what type of foundation would be most appropriate. You might decide that the poor soil quality means that additional piers or other means of support will be needed to ensure that your building remains safe and stable. If you are engaged in mining or similar work then a geotechnical engineer will be able to advise on any possible contamination issues and how you could consider remediation work to address the issue.
Is it just the soil?
While a geotechnical engineer is frequently responsible for examining the condition of the soil, their work can often be used to identify other potential problems with the site such as the existence of underground caves, or previously unidentified mine workings, which could have a serious impact on the foundation of your building or whatever work you may be engaged in. Above the ground, a geotechnical engineer can study the landscape to examine the area for potential hazards, especially if you are thinking about mining or drilling on the site. They will be able to suggest ways to ensure the safety of the project and provide the right engineering solutions for your project.
For more information, reach out to a geotechnical engineer in your area.