A vast topic indeed and one that scares the hell out of most engineers. Soil and rock are natural materials and do not display homogeneous characteristics and this can present its own special set of challenges for engineers who are used to dealing with known properties of steel and concrete. Variations in clay content across a site, fluctuations in groundwater levels, the presence of old drainage channels, collapsible soil fabrics and heaving soils all present their own peculiar challenges and woe betide the engineer or developer who chooses to ignore these.
Every development or project should have a thorough site investigation carried out to determine the nature, thickness and distribution of the underlying soils, depth to rock head and the depth to the water table.
A site investigation then allows for an assessment of foundation requirements, how to deal with groundwater, whether the site is stable, whether the in situ materials are suitable for road construction, and any other geotechnical issues that may impact on the development. Foundation solutions can range from normal strip footings to deep piles able to transfer loads down to a suitable bearing horizon. If deep cuts are required then retaining walls will need to be designed with adequate footings and good drainage. If clays are expansive then foundations will need to accommodate the anticipated heave. Shallow rock head levels may require blasting and shallow groundwater may require the emplacement of drains or a dewatering programme to draw down the water table during construction.
GeoZone GeoServices is able to provide the following services:
- Site Investigations: Housing developments, multi-storey structures, dams, tunnels, bridges, pipelines.
- Foundation Design: Strip footings, raft foundations and piles for various structures.
- Retaining Wall Design: Dry stack, gravity, cantilevered, piled or anchored.
- Dry Stack Retaining Wall Construction.
- Materials: Assessment of road construction materials.
- Quality Assurance: Compaction control and material monitoring for fill and road construction.
We can save you money, time and stress through value added engineering. Fixing problems after failure is extraordinarily expensive and at times impossible – the old adage that prevention is better than cure is as applicable in geotechnical engineering as it is elsewhere. Call us to find out how we can assist you in your project.