Geotechnical engineering in construction is a branch of civil engineering that focuses on how the ground affects building and construction. Various soil properties such as density, strength, makeup, and other factors are considered. These properties are then informed to construction project teams so that they can plan, design, and implement construction activities safely and in line with the soil properties.
Geotechnical engineers thus help with designing foundations so that buildings are built safely. They also help to reduce the social and environmental impacts of the construction process. Here are some of the ways geotechnical engineering improves construction quality.
Testing, Exploration, and Oversight
Geotechnical engineers perform subsurface exploration, soil and bedrock testing, inspection and oversee the construction process within the field to check if any of the soil or groundwater conditions affect the project construction or design. This also helps to identify any potential risks concerning the soil and subsurface conditions.
For example, soil that is too loose may result in the building leaning after construction as its weight is not fully supported by the soil. It also confirms that the soil is strong enough and stable to support the construction of the project. Advanced testing, exploration, and oversight also help to detect any unexpected field conditions which may affect the construction and design of the project.
It also provides quality control and assurance. This is especially if the local or federal government has set out a list of criteria for ground quality when engaging in construction projects. Overall, the testing, exploration, and oversight help to improve construction quality by ensuring that the construction process is safe and reduces the risk of accidents or unexpected problems occurring due to soil conditions.
Geotechnical engineering improves construction quality by assuring the structural integrity of the building. This is because it ensures that structures are built correctly and safely. There have been numerous instances where construction project managers have tried to cut costs by not employing geotechnical engineers and while the consequences may not be immediate, it occurs eventually as the building structure may crack and lean, or there may be settlement issues.
These problems are expensive and harm the structural integrity of the project. Geotechnical engineers assure structural integrity as they are specialized in numerous research programs such as construction quality control, soil erosion, stability of soil and seafloor, soil foundations and anchors, and many more.
Geotechnical engineers are well-versed in the engineering properties of soils and can conduct extensive site investigations to determine the suitability of the soil. All this contributes to structural integrity as based on the different soil types and strengths, geotechnical engineers will optimize the design process, structural behavior, and dynamic loading process accordingly to ensure that the building has a strong structure.
Geotechnical engineers help to improve construction quality by ensuring that the buildings made are durable and will last for a long time. This is done through modeling and analysis of the subsurface and soil profile, and taking into account soil conditions when planning for the structure of the building.