Geotechnical Engineering Services

Geotechnical Engineering Services

Project Assessment

Often the most important aspect of geotechnical engineering is a clear understanding of the problem. An initial consultation would typically include meeting with the client plus a brief information review or site walkover. This can often help steer the project in the right direction early, before costly design and construction begins. Clearly laying out a path and options at this stage helps the client make informed decisions and better understand their project requirements.

Site Investigation

Site characterization using drilling, testing, and other methods. We have experience using many methods including drilling (Auger, Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), Mud/Air Rotary, Diamond Coring, Sonic), Test Pits, Dynamic Cone Penetrometer. Limited access, marine, heli, tight areas, sensitive/secure locations. We can assist with access planning, coordinating the utility checks, and permitting.

Ground Improvement

Ground improvement can be used as a means to construct at sites with difficult ground conditions such as compressible, weak, or liquefiable soils. We have experience with preloading, rapid impact compaction, and other techniques normally used in the Lower Mainland.


We work with our drilling subcontractors to design and install geotechnical instrumentation for our own projects and as needed for clients. This may include standpipe/electric piezometers to measure groundwater levels, slope inclinometers, settlement gauges, thermistors, and other installations.

Foundation Design

Due to the variable ground conditions of the lower mainland, a number of foundation types are regularly used. For more competent bedrock and soils, concrete spread footings are the conventional standard. Many sites with poorer conditions, however, require other solutions including raft (mat) foundations, and deep foundations such as steel, concrete or timber piles which are either driven, drilled, or cast into place as well as other specialized systems. Designs normally must take into account seismic hazard, including assessing liquefaction potential so that structural designers can take into consideration the site’s expected response under an earthquake event.

Retaining Walls and Engineered Slopes

Frequently these are part of construction in this region to increase usable spaces and stabilize slopes. Construction in the Lower Mainland is often in challenging and steep areas, as developable land is limited. Typical retaining solutions include MSE, concrete cantilever, and gravity systems, and engineered slopes typically consists of controlled fill placed with reinforcement to increase the inclination at which the material can be stable.

Landslide Hazard Assessments

Legislated Landslide Hazard or “GeohazardAssessments have been a part of the BC Building Code since 2006, introduced to address safety for land development projects such as new subdivisions. These studies help identify natural hazard risks to a property, or as a result of new construction. We work with local governments to understand their requirements and acceptable risk levels, to ensure that the owner receives a practical Landslide Hazard Assessment for their project.

Road and Pavement Design

Development projects large and small typically require roadway design in some capacity. Based on a site investigation our experienced personnel will deliver a design for the road structure based on the existing soil conditions. Depending on the municipality or type of road being built, many factors will need to be considered. Visual pavement condition surveys and Benkelman Beam testing of existing road structures may also be employed in determining roadway repairs. 

BCBC Letters of Assurance

Schedule B / Schedule CB”. We provide Letters of Assurance for geotechnical aspects of the project, as required by municipalities issuing the building permit.

Stormwater Management

Infiltration design (i.e. trench drains, rock pits), site grading, reviewing the removal of perimeter drains from design where possible.

Temporary Works

We can provide cost-effective, safe temporary works design for construction. This can include excavation reviews, excavation support/shoring design, retaining walls, crane foundations, and value engineering to help develop suitable Specifications and testing and monitoring approaches.

Construction Monitoring

We can provide construction services including Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC), testing, contract administration, part and full time site monitoring for owners, all levels of government, and contractors.

Site Testing

 We are equipped for a wide array of geotechnical testing services: Pile Drive Analysis (PDA), Vibration Monitoring, Plate Load Testing, DCP, Benkelman Beam, Nuclear Densometer, and others.

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