Friday, June 1, 2012

What Should be in a GI Report

What should be in a Geotechnical Investigation report?

Essentially, the report should contain all the available information we had, and everything geotechnical the client will need to design and construct the project. Are we employing or expecting mind readers? Not quite. But anyone who is expecting to write a geotechnical investigation report will need to know how the project will be built, and what steps are involved in the process, and how the soils will impact the project, and how the project will impact the site.

This may be easier to understand by considering a part of one project, say a car parking area.

The steps of construction are as follows:

  • Define main issues and the project parts
  • strip the topsoil and organic B horizon material
  • cut and fill to grade. All pavements should have minimum grade of 2%, including any swail. 
  • install underground
  • subgrade
  • pavement structure
  • exclude all the common errors
  • include all cleanup - finish items
Now we can write the report around what is there and how it must be done, customized to that site and conditions. It must be site and project specific. To do this, we must know what the project is clearly, and all the components of the project. It is better to start knowing what is going to be required.

Report fluff is not recommended. If it add no value to the report, that is does not limit our liability, make things clearer, or provide project specific concise information to the client, leave out the fluff. 

Time is money, in engineering, especially with fixed prices. We need to both do the work right and make money. Fluff has no revenue, and a considerable cost.

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