Build an Excellent Residential Property with the Help of a Geotechnical Engineer

Posted March 9, 2021

Build an Excellent Residential Property with the Help of a Geotechnical Engineer

When building a new residential property, a geotechnical investigation is an essential and initial process to assess your land and find the most suitable foundation option for the proposed building. In areas such as Christchurch, New Zealand, there are many liquefaction susceptibility areas (known as TC1, TC2, TC3 land category) and hilly areas where people are always looking to build new properties. To build on these areas, you will likely need to hire a geotechnical engineer first. Here we will look further into what geotechnical engineering involves and what services you can expect from geotechnical engineers in Christchurch.

What is Geotechnical Engineering?

Geotechnical engineering specialises in investigating what is underneath the ground’s surface. Geotechnical engineers in Christchurch work to understand the impact that geological formations could have on residential property construction. With the booming property market in Christchurch, this is essential work to find new areas to construct residential properties. A geotechnical report uses scientific processes to examine the formation of the earth underneath a potential building or structure.

Before any construction takes place, it is vital that a geotechnical engineer completes a thorough site investigation. This is also true for an extension to your home or when you are adding a new garage. Without this, the construction project may become incredibly costly or be unable to be finished. Geotechnical engineering mainly involves soil testing, which investigates the strength and properties of the soil. By collecting and reviewing the properties of the ground, geotechnical engineers can conclude if your building project is safe to go ahead.

What happens during a Geotechnical Engineer’s Visit?

Property construction often requires a geotechnical report before work can go ahead and is often requested by local councils. It ensures that the construction will go forward without any concerns about the foundation or stability of the property. During a geotechnical engineer’s visit, they’ll usually drill one or more boreholes on the site, either by hand or using a machine drilling rig. The samples taken are then put through strength tests and potential further lab tests. The soil testing results allow geotechnical engineers to assess the stability of the ground for building. After the visit, you’ll receive a full geotechnical report, which will provide recommendations for your property’s foundations. As well as being used for residential properties, geotechnical engineers are commonly employed for land development, commercial properties, and public works.

Geotechnical Engineering Services

When it comes to choosing between geotechnical engineers in Christchurch, you’ll find a wide range of services on offer. The geotechnical engineering team at Cephas Rock Limited is able to assist with your conceptual building plan before moving ahead with foundation design for new construction or repairs on your home. There are four different types of geotechnical services you may want to consider, and shallow soil investigations are available for both a new dwelling and for extensions or garage work. Shallow soil investigations are from $800 + GST. 

Shallow soil investigation for a new dwelling will include up to 5 Scala penetrometer tests and 2 hand auger boreholes. The geotechnical report you receive will include suitable foundation recommendations. The basic price covers dwellings up to 300m2, but there are additional options available to cover more extensive grounds, with an additional charge per additional 100m2.

For anyone planning a home extension or garage, shallow soil investigation is also recommended. The work includes up to 2 Scala penetrometer tests and 2 hand auger boreholes. Once again, you’ll receive a report, including suitable foundation recommendations. Even if you feel confident about your current property’s foundations, this is recommended for an extension before going ahead with your project.

Many customers opt to go for a full geotechnical investigation before investing in building a new residential property. Our standard full geotechnical service will include 1 cone penetrometer Test (CPT) (Deep ground test) in conjunction with up to 5 Scala penetrometer tests and 2 hand auger boreholes.  A full geotechnical investigation report will be issued based on above tests. The report mainly includes liquefaction analysis and suitable foundation recommendations. This is a comprehensive service for single dwellings up to 300m2 and is highly recommended for anyone researching a potential site for their new home at TC3 land area or liquefaction susceptibility areas. A full geotechnical investigation at the hill site area mainly includes up to 5 Scala penetrometer tests and 2 hand auger boreholes, slope stability analysis, other hill site hazard assessments and report with retaining wall, foundation, and other necessary recommendations. The price for a full geotechnical investigation starts from $3,500 + GST. 

If you are considering building a new residential property in Christchurch, contact the team at Cephas Rock Structural and Geotechnical Engineers. Offering the four services listed above, they will provide you with a full report and recommendations for the foundation of your new home. With so many homeowners in Christchurch looking to build new properties this year, many individuals are looking at hilly areas to build their new home. By using the top geotechnical engineers in Christchurch, you can ensure you are safe and secure before moving forward with building your residential property.

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