Why Skipping the Engineer’s Report Is Never a Good Idea
Whenever a building of any size is about to be constructed, experts will need to be called in to analyze the surrounding landscape. Buildings that are constructed on loose soil or unstable bedrock, for instance, are more likely to become degraded when weathering and erosion occur. Geotechnical engineers are charged with doing the calculations that ultimately show how the load of the building will be transmitted to the ground beneath it. For the general safety of everyone involved, the chief engineering report simply cannot be ignored.
How Geotechnical Investigations Proceed
The investigation of any load-bearing ground area will consist of both surface and subsurface analysis. Stress tests, for example, will generally be used to determine how strong a certain rock layer actually is. Test pits and trenches are sometimes constructed to this end. Soil cores can then be taken and examined to determine the depth of the bedrock layer. Engineers will also look at water content and shear strength. Most professionals will likewise resort to geologic mapping, which will help them get a handle on the large-scale geologic features. In especially dicey areas, ground-penetrating radar might also be used.
A Look at Foundations
When engineers are concerned specifically with building foundations, they will need to focus on bearing capacity. Put rather simply, they will need to make sure that the bedrock can support the weight that’s going to eventually be placed on it. Slab foundations are considered shallow foundations and are perfectly adequate for small buildings. City skyscrapers, on the other hand, will be supported by piers, piles and caissons. The largest structures will generally require huge steel piles to be driven dozens of feet into the earth.
Combating Natural Disasters
Geotechnical engineers will be able to calculate how much stress is likely to be placed on the building during extreme events. Earthquakes and landslides can sometimes strike without warning. If the soil in a certain region is prone to liquefaction, the engineer will always recommend that the construction take place somewhere else. Earth-filled dams and other retaining structures can sometimes be added for extra support.
If a building is to be constructed on sloped land, a stability analysis will need to be done before the project begins. Soil that has been deemed problematic will have to be supported with synthetic structures. Limestone, sandstone and shale, for instance, have vastly different properties than granite.
If you need help with foundation repair or foundation damage in Carmel, IN, browse our site or call us directly for more information. At Ram Jack of Indiana, we can help you develop a viable action plan and bring your project to a successful conclusion.