Importance of Geotechnical Engineering for Construction Projects

February, 29 2020

Getting to grips with geotechnical function

Geotechnical engineering is a professional concentration that involves making sure that the structural stability of buildings, earthworks, and other environments is safe for the long haul. Their primary duties involve designing foundations, walls, and slopes as well as conducting investigations that go beyond code-based designs, and allow for a more individual site-specific focus. Using the mining industry as an example, here are a few reasons why geotechnical engineering is essential for your construction project needs.

Geotechnical engineering in mining services

What was once considered an external consulting service has now become a standard for all major mining companies on a global scale. The geotechnical engineer(s) that work on-site at a mining facility tend to advise management on improving the design of the mine per the standards of geotechnical capabilities. Another crucial aspect of the geotechnical engineer’s role is to be a reliable safety officer that advises management when the design of the mine needs to be changed or altered in some way to nip potentially critical geotechnical issues in the bud.

How geotechnical engineers determine design improvements

Before the mine is actually constructed is the project stage, and it is a highly speculatory moment in the project’s evolution. The initial design is determined mostly by the level of information available during this time of speculation, and very little in the way of detail on subjects such as comprehensive rock mass levels are available.

However, as the mine goes through various phases of construction, new geotechnical data, as well as geological and hydrogeological data, is being gathered consistently, and geotechnical engineers are continually analyzing the work levels of preexisting excavations. It’s essential always to be reconsidering the evolution of the main design and modify it as needed for safety as well as minimizing production hazards down the line.

Risk management aspect

Destabilization of ground control in a structure due to low levels of prior planning at the speculatory stage can lead to numerous issues, including cave-ins, harsh seismic episodes, pillar failures, and more. All these sorts of potentially disastrous scenarios can not only get in the way of profitability due to the loss of equipment but can also potentially lead to a loss of life. This can then cause the mining endeavor to shut down or even possibly close down the mine forever. The on-site geotechnical engineer is always remaining vigilant to minimize these possible situations, at all times.

We are a Southern California agency that provides consultation services to assist you in maximizing your productivity as well as the profitability of your geotechnical and geological projects. If you have any questions about construction vibration monitoring services, please contact us today.

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