Geotechnical Engineering is the foundation of GEM’s success and reputation. By combining technical knowledge and experience with innovation, GEM engineers have produced practical, cost-effective solutions for thousands of challenging geotechnical projects for a wide variety of clients including: architectural, engineering and construction companies; developers; industry; public and private institutions; and government agencies.
Geotechnical services provided by GEM include:
Exploration services for characterization of the relevant physical properties of the soil, rock, and groundwater conditions below a site. This is accomplished with a variety of methods including: research of existing data, site reconnaissance observations, test pits, soil test borings, core drilling, in-situ testing, groundwater measurements, laboratory testing, geophysics and instrumentation. The knowledge, experience & observation skills of GEM personnel allow us to better identify and understand the results. The cost of a well-planned & executed subsurface exploration, sampling & testing program from GEM is an investment in project performance.
Analysis and evaluation of this information yields a model of the soil and rock conditions that allows predictions of soil/structure behaviors to be made. Geotechnical engineers formulate a model of the soil and rock conditions. This model allows predictions of subsurface behavior and interactions between structures and the subsurface. Some behaviors and properties that commonly are modeled include: bearing capacity, settlement, seismic response, and slope stability. These assessments are used in many situations including: planning and design of new structures, evaluation of subsurface conditions during construction, and failure investigations.
Recommendations and design services provide technical parameters used by the architect, structural engineer, civil engineer and the contractor in completion of project design and construction. Recommendations are developed for geotechnical design parameters, construction methods, and foundation systems that are tailored to the specific site characteristics and project requirements. Recommendations can range from design parameters (i.e. foundation bearing capacity), to construction procedures (i.e. clay liner placement methods for a solid waste landfill), to a complete set of design documents (i.e. plans and specifications for construction of a tied-back retaining wall).
Construction phase services provide confirmation that the geotechnical materials and systems meet the project specifications and the design intentions. Soil and rock conditions are inherently variable. Natural events, such as flooding, sinkhole development, or earthquakes, and human activities, such as filling or previous construction, can significantly change the soil and rock conditions. As such, the subsurface conditions encountered during construction may vary from the conditions encountered in the exploration phase. Construction phase geotechnical services serve to further define these conditions and to develop appropriate design changes when necessary.
Geotechnical services provided by GEM are characterized by: