Functions of Geotechnical Engineering

As outlined in the previous article, geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering that is related to investigating the performance of soil mechanisms. This, in turn, will help determine the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties that may affect a project under construction. Also, the risks to both the environment and humans that may come up during the construction phase of the project.

There exists a close relationship between geotechnical engineering and civil engineering. Still, one of the significant differences is that geotechnical engineers do not wholly rely on code-based designs. They use sound judgment to understand the rock and soil properties to determine the most appropriate construction design for a cost-effective, safe, and durable building.

Functions of Geotechnical Engineering

The following are some of the significant functions of geotechnical engineering.

Evaluation of Geotechnical Hazards

Large and medium-sized projects such as roads, bridges, shopping complexes, or harbors require foundations that will support the building for a long time. The construction sites may bring about both environmental and human hazards, such as earthquakes when laying the foundations, landslides, and mudslides in the case of dam construction, among others. Geotechnical engineers can study, evaluate, and understand and mitigate some of these hazards before the actual construction begins.

To Determine the Earth’s Bearing Capacity

Different soil and rock structures have differing building bearing capacity. Thus, the need for geotechnical engineers to study the structure of the soil and rocks of the site and advise on the type of foundation to be constructed. This has also to do with determining the interactions between the earth, the foundations, and the structure be built.

Assessing the Earth’s Pressure

The earth’s pressure is not always constant, and having an understanding of its influence on the site will help engineers determine the construction materials to use, as well as the nature of the walls to build.

Geotechnical engineering should be part of any complex building project.