Why you need a geotechnical engineer in your team

When considering a piece of land for building you will, no doubt, think about the location of the land, the shape of the land, and what other features and properties are in the general area. If you haven't yet bought the land, you will also need to look at the price of the land and determine whether it is a worthwhile investment considering the use you can make of it and what the potential returns could be. One thing that you may not give too much consideration to is the state of the soil, but that could be a serious mistake.

Why the soil matters

Before progressing your plans too far, it is best to bring in a geotechnical engineer to examine the ground. The state of the soil and the ground both above and below the surface can have a significant impact on what you build and the construction methods that you must use to complete the work. Your geotechnical engineer will visit your site and gather samples from various locations. The engineer will want to determine if the soil can support the building on its own or whether a more solid foundation is needed.

Looking below the ground

Ascertaining the strength and stability of the soil is important, but those aren't the only things that will interest a geotechnical engineer. While a site may look untouched on the surface, that doesn't mean that there are no risks associated with building there. The previous owners may have left pipework or underground structures intact when they moved out. Alternatively, there could be caves or other natural features that affect how you must construct your foundation. If you are unaware of these dangers, then you could find that you need to make expensive changes to your plans partway through building, or you may even find that the structural integrity of your building fails soon after it is finished.

Looking around the site

It may be that there are no problems with the strength of the soil on your site, but a geotechnical engineer will be able to help the construction project in other ways. The engineer will examine the site and the surrounding ground carefully. They will look for signs of contamination or where contamination could result from your work. They can advise you on what remediation measures you could undertake to ensure that the site remains safe for everyone who will live or work there in the future.

To learn more, contact a geotechnical engineer.