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Geotechnical Assessment

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Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd has provided invaluable advice on the environmental elements at West Midlands Interchange allowing us as owners and development managers to proceed with confidence on this complex and challenging scheme.  Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd has worked with sensitivity and flexibility around the various land ownership issues encountered and combined seamlessly with the other members of the professional team to help move through the purchase of the site towards enabling works, infrastructure, and unit construction.  We look forward to continuing our work with the team to deliver this exciting and significant logistics scheme.

Michael Kirkland Logistics Capital Partners

Thorough risk assessment, considerate of the nature of the proposed development. Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd identified pragmatic, cost-saving solutions designed to reduce disposal requirements and negate potential risks to future development.

Royal Albert Docks Representative

Quite simply, we could not have made the progress we have achieved at Leafbridge without the support of Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd. They were a fundamental part of the team in the process that delivered us a planning consent for the site and have provided ongoing support through the discharge of planning conditions and detailed design activities. Their greatest strength has to be their responsiveness. If we uncover an issue on site, we know that by making one call they will be able to quickly send someone to site who will provide professional support and assistance.

Paul Wheatley Senior Project Manager

Solving the unique multi-faceted equation of difficult geology, surface water discharge restrictions, low carbon construction and a very tight budget could have been at least very disruptive to the project, and at worst could have prevented the project from being completed. This was accomplished far more easily due to the collaborative, flexible, innovative and always attentive involvement of Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd. I look forward to involving the team in all future projects with a need for geological investigation, management of potential waste and compliance with Environmental bodies.

Ken Bassett Senior Site Manager, Morgan Sindall

Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd has advised Hermes for over 22 years on a range of environmental issues. Their team holds an impressive depth of knowledge and experience, which added to their commercial understanding, makes Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd an invaluable member of our project team.

Jo Flattery Associate Director & Project Management

Pinnacle sought a partner rather than simply a consultancy service provider. We looked for an organisation that listened carefully to our needs and ideas and provided a choice of added-value solutions. We have been impressed with Lucion Delta-Simons Ltd ability to work closely with us to develop solutions that enable us to consistently deliver against our Client’s objectives.

David Meigh Pinnacle Consulting Engineers Ltd

The project team have provided invaluable advice and expert reports on the geo-environmental aspects of this complex site culminating in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals from the Local Authority, Natural England and the Environment Agency to allow the development to proceed. The team have allowed us to proceed with confidence on this complex and challenging scheme. We look forward to working with the team throughout the enabling/construction works and also on future brownfield regeneration projects.

James Mawson Director

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Geotechnical Assessment FAQs

Geotechnical assessments are crucial for construction and development projects because they provide essential information about the physical properties and behaviour of the ground.

This information is used to: 

  • Design safe and efficient foundations, retaining structures, and other geotechnical elements 
  • Assess the stability of slopes, excavations, and earthworks 
  • Identify potential geohazards, such as soft or compressible soils, groundwater, sinkholes, and landslides 
  • Determine the suitability of sites for proposed developments or infrastructure 
  • Plan and design ground improvement or remediation measures, where necessary 
  • Avoid costly delays, variations, and failures due to unforeseen ground conditions 

By conducting geotechnical assessments early in the project lifecycle, developers, engineers, and contractors can make informed decisions, manage risks, and optimise designs, leading to safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective projects. 

A geotechnical assessment typically consists of several components, depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the project. The main components include: 

  • Desk study: A review of available geological, topographical, and historical information about the site and surrounding area, to identify potential geotechnical hazards and constraints. 
  • Site reconnaissance: A walkover survey of the site to observe and record surface features, exposures, and conditions that may influence the geotechnical design and construction. 
  • Ground investigation: Intrusive exploration of the subsurface conditions, using techniques such as boreholes, trial pits, and in-situ tests, to obtain samples and data on the soil and rock properties and stratigraphy. 
  • Laboratory testing: Analysis of soil and rock samples to determine their physical and mechanical properties, such as strength, compressibility, and permeability. 
  • Geotechnical characterisation: Interpretation of the ground investigation and laboratory test data to develop a geotechnical model of the site, including the soil and rock types, properties, and variability. 
  • Geotechnical design: Application of the geotechnical model and relevant design standards and codes to develop recommendations for foundations, retaining structures, slopes, and other geotechnical elements. 
  • Reporting: Preparation of a comprehensive geotechnical report, presenting the data, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations of the assessment, along with any limitations, risks, and uncertainties. 

The scope and detail of each component will vary depending on the stage of the project, the level of geotechnical risk, and the client’s requirements and budget. A phased approach is often adopted, with an initial desk study and site reconnaissance informing the scope and design of subsequent ground investigations and assessments. 

There are numerous geotechnical risks that can affect construction and development projects, depending on the specific site conditions, project type, and design. Some of the main geotechnical risks include: 

  • Poor or variable ground conditions, such as soft, compressible, or collapsible soils, which can lead to excessive settlement, bearing capacity failures, or instability of foundations and structures. 
  • Shallow or perched groundwater, which can cause softening, erosion, or uplift of soils, and require dewatering or drainage measures during construction. 
  • Aggressive or corrosive soils and groundwater can attack and degrade concrete, steel, and other construction materials, leading to premature deterioration and failure. 
  • Geohazards, such as sinkholes, landslides, rockfalls, or subsidence, which can pose significant safety risks and cause damage to structures and infrastructure. 
  • Seismic hazards, such as ground shaking, liquefaction, or fault rupture, which can occur in areas of high seismicity and require special design and construction measures. 
  • Contaminated soils or groundwater can pose health and environmental risks, and require specialist investigation, assessment, and remediation. 
  • Obstructions or buried structures, such as old foundations, utilities, or archaeological remains, which can obstruct or damage construction works and require diversion or removal. 
  • Difficult or variable ground conditions for excavation and earthworks, such as hard rock, high groundwater, or unstable soils, which can increase construction time, cost, and complexity. 

Effective geotechnical risk management involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating these risks through appropriate site investigation, design, construction, and monitoring techniques. Geotechnical assessments play a critical role in this process, providing the necessary data and expertise to inform risk-based decision-making and optimise project outcomes. 

Lucion’s geotechnical assessment services provide numerous benefits to construction and development projects, including: 

  • Comprehensive understanding of ground conditions: Our wide range of investigation techniques and expert interpretation provides a detailed and reliable picture of the soil and rock properties, stratigraphy, and variability across the site. 
  • Identification and mitigation of geotechnical risks: We identify potential geohazards, constraints, and risks that could affect the project, and provide recommendations for appropriate mitigation measures, such as ground improvement, foundation design, or slope stabilisation. 
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements: Our assessments are designed to meet the requirements of relevant standards, codes, and regulations, such as Building Regulations, Eurocodes, and BS 5930, ensuring that the project is compliant and approved. 
  • Optimisation of design and construction: The data and recommendations from our assessments inform the optimisation of foundation design, earthworks, and construction methods, leading to more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions. 
  • Reduction of project delays and variations: By conducting geotechnical assessments early in the project lifecycle, we help to reduce the risk of unforeseen ground conditions and the associated delays, variations, and disputes that can occur during construction. 
  • Integration with other services: Our geotechnical assessments are seamlessly integrated with our contaminated land, waste management, and other environmental services, providing a holistic and coordinated approach to managing ground-related risks and liabilities. 
  • Experienced and qualified team: Our geotechnical assessments are conducted by a team of highly experienced and qualified geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, and other specialists, who have a proven track record of delivering high-quality and valuable services to a wide range of projects and clients. 

By partnering with Lucion for your geotechnical assessment needs, you can have confidence in the quality, reliability, and value of the services provided, enabling you to make informed decisions, manage risks, and achieve successful project outcomes. 

Some several key standards and regulations apply to geotechnical assessments in the UK, which aim to ensure the quality, consistency, and safety of geotechnical investigations, designs, and constructions. Some of the main standards and regulations include: 

  • Eurocodes: The Eurocodes are a set of harmonised European standards for the design of buildings and civil engineering works, which include specific provisions for geotechnical design (Eurocode 7). The UK National Annexes to the Eurocodes provide additional guidance and parameters for application in the UK. 
  • Building Regulations: The Building Regulations set out the minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings in the UK, including requirements for foundations, ground floors, and other geotechnical elements. Approved Document A guides on meeting these requirements. 
  • BS 5930: Code of practice for ground investigations: This British Standard provides comprehensive guidance on the planning, procurement, execution, and reporting of ground investigations for geotechnical purposes, including desk studies, field investigations, laboratory testing, and interpretation. 
  • BS EN ISO 22475: Geotechnical investigation and testing – Sampling methods and groundwater measurements: This standard guides the methods and procedures for obtaining samples and measuring groundwater during geotechnical investigations. 
  • BS EN 1997: Geotechnical design: This standard, also known as Eurocode 7, provides principles and rules for the geotechnical design of buildings and civil engineering works, including the use of ground investigation data, geotechnical parameters, and calculation methods. 
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM): The CDM Regulations place duties on clients, designers, and contractors to ensure that health and safety is taken into account throughout the project lifecycle, including the planning and execution of geotechnical investigations and works. 
  • UK Specification for Ground Investigation: This specification, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers, provides a standardised format and content for the procurement and reporting of ground investigations in the UK, to ensure consistency and quality across the industry. 

Compliance with these standards and regulations is essential for the safe, efficient, and effective delivery of geotechnical assessments and related works. Our geotechnical assessment services are designed and conducted in accordance with these standards and regulations, and other relevant industry guidance and best practice, to ensure the highest levels of quality and professionalism. 

Our geotechnical assessment services are fully integrated with our other environmental services, providing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to managing the risks and liabilities associated with ground conditions and contamination. This integration offers several benefits to our clients: 

  • Efficiency: By combining geotechnical and environmental investigations, we can optimise the scope, programme, and cost of the works, reducing duplication and delays, and providing a more efficient and streamlined service. 
  • Holistic understanding: The integration of geotechnical and environmental data and interpretations provides a more complete and holistic understanding of the site conditions, enabling better-informed decision-making and risk management. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Many development projects require both geotechnical and environmental assessments to meet regulatory requirements, such as planning conditions, building regulations, and environmental permits. Our integrated services ensure that all relevant requirements are addressed in a coordinated and consistent manner. 
  • Risk management: Ground-related risks often have both geotechnical and environmental aspects, such as contaminated soils or groundwater, or geohazards that could affect human health or the environment. Our integrated services enable us to identify and manage these risks in a comprehensive and joined-up way. 
  • Sustainable solutions: The integration of geotechnical and environmental considerations can lead to more sustainable and circular solutions, such as the reuse of site-won materials, the minimisation of waste, and the protection of natural resources and ecosystems. 

Some examples of how our geotechnical assessment services integrate with our other environmental services include: 

Contaminated Land Assessments 

Our geotechnical investigations can provide valuable data on the nature, extent, and properties of contaminated soils and groundwater, which can inform the design and implementation of remediation strategies and risk assessments. 

Waste Classification and Management 

The data from our geotechnical assessments can be used to classify and characterise site-won materials for reuse or disposal, in accordance with relevant waste regulations and protocols.

Environmental Impact Assessments 

Our geotechnical assessments can provide important baseline data and impact assessments for Environmental Impact Assessments and other environmental permitting and consenting processes, such as flood risk assessments, hydrogeological risk assessments, and land stability assessments. 

By offering integrated geotechnical and environmental assessment services, Lucion can provide a one-stop-shop for our clients, delivering high-quality, reliable, and valuable solutions that address the full range of ground-related risks and opportunities for their projects. 

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