Geotechnical Engineering and Structural Foundations

All manner of infrastructure, including houses, high rise office towers, roads, bridges, dams and tunnels need their proposed site, and sometimes the surrounding areas, to be analyzed to ensure their construction plans meet required engineering standards. The foundations of any piece of infrastructure transmit the weight bearing load from the structure to the earth. As you can imagine, it is critical that the foundations are strong enough to hold the weight of the building, even under irregular conditions like flood and earthquakes. The primary considerations for foundation support are bearing capacity, settlement, and ground movement beneath the foundations. Bearing capacity is the ability of the site soils to support the loads imposed by buildings or structures. Geotechnical Engineers Geotechnical Engineers are the people who analyse the geotechnical conditions on a site and the way they will interact with a building, to determine the structural engineering requirements of construction projects. Geotechnical engineers a design the foundations of structures based on the load characteristics of the structure and the properties of the soils and/or bedrock on the site. They are responsible for ensuring that the structural foundations are within prescribed engineering tolerances. To do this they take soil and rock samples, analyse these, and when they have completed their analysis, write reports that provide advice to civil and structural engineers, architects, construction personnel and landscapers on the most appropriate methods and materials to use when undertaking construction in an area.

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