When investors think about construction projects, they focus on outward design elements. The only challenge they see is a case where their project doesn't stand out from the rest. Little do they know that the real challenge lies at the foot of the project. A quality foundation is the secret to an outstanding project. With a good foundation, your structure will have a remarkable load capacity, leaving room for the installation of numerous utilities and décor. Good foundations begin with incorporating the services of geotechnical engineers. They will advise you on your project's foundation after carrying out the following assessments on your site:
A subsurface investigation is an important process in determining the suitability of a site for a certain project. The geotechnical engineer studies the location and physical attributes of rocks located below the surface of the ground. They use the information to determine some of the most important factors elements affecting your foundation. These are the following:
- Excavation cost: Hard rocks such as diamond and calcite make it hard to dig into the ground. They make excavation more expensive by slowing down excavators and drilling machines.
- Foundation depth: Soft rocks have a lower load-bearing capacity. The engineer will suggest the use of foundation reinforcements such as helical piles.
Checking Groundwater Levels
Clean, natural water is a scarce resource in many places. It's no wonder people like to draw water from the ground, purify it and store it for commercial and domestic purposes. If you have such prospects for your project, a geotechnical engineer will examine the site for groundwater and issue a detailed report. The report will help you determine the costs of tapping groundwater resources by estimating the depth of required boreholes, wells and the type of pumps needed to draw such water.
Salinity tests are also necessary when working on building foundations. In this case, the engineer studies the level of salinity of the soils and rocks on the site. He or she will determine the concentration of various minerals and salts and the effect they have on your foundation. For instance, the presence of highly reactive salts poses a risk to reinforcing steel structures on your foundation. They accelerate rusting and other corrosive processes.
Reports on salinity will help you select the right kind of coating for your metallic or concrete foundation elements. For instance, coating reinforcing rebar with less reactive metals such as zinc will minimise the effects of salinity and prolong the life of your foundation.