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Building without geotech

Building without geotech

Building without geotech

So I created an account to be able to post on here and selected student user because Architect wasn’t an option, now realizing I’m limited to posting in the student section. So I apologize if I’m posting where I shouldn’t.

I’m an architect in Ohio and I’m starting to run into more projects in rural mountainous areas of the state. The issue I’m having is that I’m having trouble finding any geotechnical engineers who are willing or capable of doing soils investigations on sloped wooded sites. I’ve learned it requires specialized equipment.

Some companies I’ve called used to do it, but the pandemic changed things and many have consolidated back to government funded civil projects. I even spoke with one of my structural engineers about it and he confirmed he’s had several large scale residential projects where it’s been hard to find geotechs.

I see architects across the country and world getting publicized for these remote mountain houses. I’m actually trying to get in touch with some to learn what they did.

My question is this: What is typical practice when you don’t have a geotech available for your project area or the site is inaccessible to their equipment? I saw a thread discussing the use of USDA soil maps which I know have limitations to their accuracy, but if I’m unable to get more specific then is this what people are using?

P.S. I’ve found a guy who says he can hand auger it, but I’m skeptical of the accuracy of his findings using this method. I’ve worked on a commercial project where I learned that it’s entirely possible for a boring to appear to hit bedrock when in reality you’ve just hit a large boulder. If you don’t realize what you’ve hit, then you could be eccentrically loading a boulder that shifts under the weight of your structure causing damage or failure. So when he said hand auger, I immediately thought what if he hits a boulder and thinks it’s bedrock?!

RE: Building without geotech

Hand augers are toys that give bad information before construction leading to cost extras during construction.


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