At Advanced Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. (AGS), we are often called to a potential development site to discuss geotechnical engineering services. Many times, when similar exploration services have already been performed on areas nearby, people assume that the testing administered will apply to their development area as well. When this happens, it is often assumed that a geotechnical engineer is no longer needed. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is all too common.
The real outcome of this decision usually ends up costing much more in design and construction of the project than it would have if the proper geotechnical engineering had been performed in the beginning stages of the project. Without these soil tests, other design professionals on the team increase their factor of safety to ensure a quality product. An even worse outcome is that the project may be designed on false soil assumptions and is inherently risky from a safety and long-term performance perspective.
Another reason people shy away from hiring a geotechnical engineering is because they believe the fees are too costly. However, fees of high-quality geotechnical engineering firms typically cost less than 1% of the construction budget for larger projects. This is a small price to pay to ensure that your next project is done safely, will remain safe for years to come, and continue to be cost-efficient.