Why Would You Need a Geotechnical Engineer?

We have all anticipated what a building or development will look like when it has been finished, and watched the progress over time as it is being built. Long before you see the building work begin though, there are other vital skilled tasks that take place to ensure the project’s feasibility, that environmental impact is minimised and that the construction is safe.


What is Geotechnical Engineering Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behaviour of earth materials. It uses the principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics for the solution of its respective engineering problems. It incorporates a range of specialist fields such as soil and rock mechanics, geophysics, hydrogeology and associated disciplines such as geology.


The Importance of Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineers play a vitally important support role within the design and construction industry. Hiring the right professionals is key to the potential success of a project. The right professionals can also save you a significant amount of time and money on a project by quickly identifying feasibility as well as identifying the risks associated with a project and the necessary steps to be taken to reduce or remove the risk posed both to people and the environment.


When land is purchased and then repurposed, the ground needs to be geotechnically assessed against the proposed usage of the land. You may not always be aware of the environmental considerations, restraints and measures needed to be handled in order for the project to be legally and physically possible. It shouldn’t be an option for any developer to come across environmental or construction issues once a project is underway.


In addition to ensuring your construction plans are feasible, a geotechnical engineer’s assessment can guide you on building and foundation placement, water mitigation, how surrounding structures such as car parks or roads will affect your project. They will also be able to guide you through any land remediation that needs to take place for the project to be signed off. The importance of geotechnical engineering comes down to planning and reduction of risk associated with a development and your long-term investment in a project.


What does a Geotechnical Engineer do?

A geotechnical engineer conducts an investigation and assessment to ensure the land can support the proposed construction.


The Geotechnical Engineer will through intrusive ground investigations assess such things as (but not limited to):


· The composition of soils underlying your site

· The geological and geotechnical feasibility of your site in relation to surrounding sites.

· Groundwater conditions and water flow paths and how they affect the development.

· Bearing capacity of the ground.


Conducting a Geotechnical Survey

Geotechnical surveys allow engineers to evaluate the stability of the ground, including any slopes and soil deposits, assess risks including contamination, and help to determine what type of foundations and earthworks are required for the proposed scheme. Surveys will also highlight the potential for risks such as landslides, and drainage property of the underlying ground.

Finding the Right Geotechnical Engineer

At Jomas Associates, we pride ourselves in being pragmatic in our approach. We carefully manage our work to avoid escalation of costs, while ensuring that your planning obligations are achieved in a timely fashion.


We appreciate the challenges involved in the land development process, and to avoid further complications, we aim to provide clear, concise advice, tailored to suit your development proposals.


Our Geotechnical Engineers and Engineering Geologists have extensive experience of working on site investigation projects nationwide.

The range of geotechnical engineering services that JOMAS offer include:

· Ground Investigation: Trial Pitting and/ or Boreholes to assess ground conditions

· Other field tests including Plate Bearing Tests, CBR Testing

· Permeability tests including BRE 365 Soakage Testing, Falling & Rising Head Tests

· Ground Water Monitoring

· Foundation Design - Traditional Foundations, Piled Foundations

· Slope Stability Assessments; Retaining Wall Design

· Ground Movement Assessments and Modelling

· Land Contamination Risk Assessments


If you have a project you would like to discuss, please call us on 0800 955 2187 or email quotes@jomasassociates.com