Geotechnical reports can take anywhere between two weeks and two months to produce (or longer!), and there are many factors that can affect that timeline.
If you are looking to begin a project where Clearing and Grading Permit applications have been submitted, a geotechnical report will very likely be required. Once you establish that a geotech report is needed, you may naturally begin to wonder how long a geotechnical report will take. The duration of site investigations can range quite a bit, so we will dive into the major phases and timelines for geotechnical reports below.
What Steps are Involved in a Geotech Report?
The geotechnical engineer on any given project is tasked with determining the necessary scope and elements of a geotech report. A variety of reports may be needed based on local requirements, codes, and the plan developed by the geotechnical engineer, structural designer, or architect. The reports may include any of the following:
- Geotechnical Surface Reconnaissance
- Preliminary Assessment
- Geological Hazard Study
- Landslide Hazard Study
- Critical Area Study
- Geotechnical Evaluation
- Geotechnical Investigation
So, how long does a geotechnical report take? A straightforward project could only require a few elements to be investigated. A report of that type can be conducted and analyzed in roughly two weeks after the site work has been completed. When projects become more complex, larger in scale, or potential hazards arise, geotechnical reports can take two months or more to produce. We will take a closer look at the given types of reports and their elements to help you gain a clearer timeline for your project.
Geotechnical Investigation Reports
A geotechnical investigation report is intended to document the work conducted and the data produced from the research and experiments. A summary of the subsurface conditions and the design properties of the soil and rock should be included in the report. This report has three main phases:
- Background Information: This portion will detail the need and purpose of the investigation. Additionally, the report should describe the general site conditions, geology, drainage, ground cover, and any irregularities that designers may need to account for.
- Work Scope: Here, you will find guidance on investigation methods, locations, and frequency of tests performed. This can include the depth and location of borings, number of samples taken, dates of samples and tests, contractor information, and details of any derivations from standard testing procedures.
- Data Presentation: In this section, a detailed log of exploration sites will be provided. You will also find summaries of data collected and subsequent graphs and charts. This section will also offer test data from any previous investigations done on the site.
- Conclusions and Recommendations: Here, the engineering recommendations are made, narrowing broad data and observations into relevant, critical design guidance if requested.
Geotechnical Design Reports
Similar to an investigation, the geotechnical design report provides an assessment and analysis of the subsurface conditions at the site. Additionally, it will describe the techniques and findings of the analysis, and will provide recommendations for required facilities (foundations, retaining structures, embankments, etc.). Materials of engineering significance including soil elements and groundwater conditions must be noted, and design recommendations to accommodate must be developed. Assessment of the subsurface conditions, construction plans, phasing, and timing must be present. Possible solutions to anticipated problems should be identified.
If the investigation determines that contaminants are present at the site, requests may be made that the geotechnical along with an environmental engineer will produce a report detailing the issues and recommendations to remediate the contamination. Developing a report of this type often involves bringing in experts to work alongside the geotechnical engineer as contamination remediation often requires unique expertise. A team of toxicologists, geologists, air quality experts, chemists, and more may be assembled to uncover the extent and nature of the contamination and perform lab testing. Regulatory issues of such contaminants should be addressed, and solutions for remediation should be developed.
Subsurface profiles should also be provided and test location plans should be mapped and scaled appropriately. The duration of any given geotechnical report will depend greatly on the number of elements that must be investigated.
Team Up With Central Geotechnical Services, LLC
Looking for expert guidance for your project? Here at Central Geotechnical Services, LLC, we have a wide breadth of experience with commercial, residential, and governmental undertakings. We can provide you with key insight into the elements of a geotech report and can help your project move forward. If you want to start a conversation with our team, get in touch!