Frequently Asked Questions

 What is a Preliminary Geotechnical Report? 

  • A Preliminary Geotechnical Report describes general topography and geology of a site location, including subsurface conditions, and provides initial information to be used by project architectural and structural, consultants. Recommendations are given for which type of foundations would be most economical for the proposed. structure, such as: maximum allowable soil bearing pressure, lateral earth pressures, and friction coefficients. Most building officials require submittal of a preliminary soils report as part of the building permit processing. 
  • The Preliminary Soils Report enables the preparation of site grading plans by civil engineering consultants and provide information needed by earthwork and utility contractors for preparing cost estimates. 
  • The Preliminary Soils and Foundation Report will highlight site topographic and subsurface conditions that are critical to a successful project. 
  • Preliminary design coefficients are often given in a Preliminary Soils Investigation to enable structural engineers to design structures to withstand vertical and lateral seismic forces.

 How much soil do I need for testing soil in the laboratory? 

About a 5 gallon bucket full. 

What can a GEOTECHNICAL/GEOLOGICAL Engineer do for you?

  • Geological engineers identify and try to solve problems involving soil, rock and groundwater, and design structures in and below the ground, using the principles of earth science and engineering.
  • Geological engineering includes a number of ground engineering specialities such as geotechnical engineering, land remediation, rock mechanics, groundwater hydrology and engineering geology. 
  • Geological engineers may perform the following tasks: 
  • investigate the engineering feasibility of planned new developments involving soil, rock and groundwater 
  • plan and undertake site investigations for proposed major engineering works such as bridges, dams and tunnels  
  • design measures to correct land contamination and salination  
  • design major structures in rock such as tunnels, basements and shafts  
  • supervise construction and performance of major engineering works involving the ground 
  • work out strategies to control landslides and areas of potential instability  
  • act as consultants or researchers act in managerial positions and be responsible for coordination of multi-disciplinary study teams, staff recruitment and matters of work organisation  
  • perform computer analyses, use computer databases and generate computer-aided designs  

Geological engineers may work with other professionals pooling their expertise to solve particular problems. For example, they may work with environmental scientists, geologists and hydrologists on solving land degradation, groundwater and salination problems; with civil engineers in the design and construction of better transportation links; or with mining engineers in designing open-cut and underground mines, and on rehabilitation works on completion of mining. Outdoor work is an essential aspect of geological engineering investigations. Geological engineers typically spend up to half of their working hours on field investigations and supervising construction of their designs. Responsibilities of the role typically include ensuring geotechnical activities are conducted safely in order to provide a safe working environment for employees and contractors in accordance with company standards and government legislation.


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