A Definitive Guide on Geotechnical Reports and Soil Testing Expenses

Geotechnical Engineering

Whether you are building a residential home, strip mall, multistoried office complex, bridge, or stadiums, it is important to find the condition of soil on which the foundation will be supported. That is why it is important to do the site investigation to know the condition of the soil. Once the soil investigation is complete, a geotechnical report will be prepared.

Geotechnical Investigation

Geotechnical Investigation involves the process of drilling boreholes, taking soil samples, testing them in the laboratory, analyze the test report and recommend a suitable foundation. The depth and number of holes depend on the area of the site and the type of structure that will be built. Based on the soil report, a geotechnical engineer may recommend the improvement of the soil before any foundation can be built. The geotechnical engineer also recommends the type of foundation, whether a deep foundation or shallow foundation, is required. The foundation can be strip footing or pile foundation. The depth and type of pile are recommended based on the soil characteristic. Investigating groundwater and investigating rock, if encountered, also forms part of the geotechnical investigation report. If the geotechnical engineer finds that the soil is not suitable, then the engineer gives an appropriate recommendation to address the problem.

Hiring a Geotechnical Engineer

It is very important to hire a professional geotechnical engineering company in Edmonton or Calgary with adequate knowledge and experience in the field of geotechnical engineering.

What does the Geotech Report entail?

Once the drilling and soil testing is complete, the Geotechnical Engineer prepares the report based on the soil report. The geotechnical report then provides the following information:

  • Characterize the soil parameters and groundwater status within the proposed site.
  • Provide geotechnical recommendations and comments for the design and construction of the foundation of the proposed structure.
  • Provide soil geotechnical and groundwater parameters as per the requirements of design engineers.

The objective is to find the suitability of soil and whether it can support the structure proposed on-site and recommend appropriate foundation types based on the soil characteristic. The foundation design is based on the characteristic of soil encountered on a particular site.

What happens if the soil is bad?

If the soil encountered is not suitable, then sometimes appropriate foundation type is a recommendation. For example, only a pile foundation is suitable. Or the soil characteristic can be improved. Sometimes the unsuitable soil is removed and approved engineered fill is placed and compacted based on the standards.

Approximate cost of a Geotech Report

The cost depends on the location, area, and type of soil and depth of drilling, the number of samples tested. The price starts at a minimum of $3000.00, and it can go up to $25,000 depending on the type of structures built.

Why do you need a Geotech Report before you start the project?

A Geotech report can save the unnecessary cost of foundation design? In fact, the foundation design can be optimized based on the report. Without the Geotech report, you may end up building a faulty structure and go through the painful process of rectification, which will cost you a lot of money and time. Hence it is always advisable to do a geotechnical investigation from a professional geotechnical engineering company before you start your design and construction.

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