Geotechnical Investigations For Piling Projects – The False Economy Of A Cheap Site Investigation

Ben Collingwood

An adequate geotechnical site investigation is the corner-stone of any successful ground engineering project. However, in the current commercial environment, the scope of site investigations for piling projects is often minimised to the detriment of the project.
Inadequate geotechnical information precludes economical pile design and often leads to qualified piling tenders.

This paper summarises the current state of practice in Victoria in relation to site investigation for piling projects. Some hypothetical examples are presented which demonstrate the additional piling costs that can arise due to inadequate site investigation. These additional costs usually substantially outweigh the small up-front saving that may be achieved on site investigation works. While not actual case studies, the examples given are representative of real projects and realistic cost outcomes.

While a detailed discussion of site investigation requirements for piling projects is beyond the scope of this paper, some practical recommendations are given for those involved in engaging site investigation consultants.