Development of virgin or partially developed real estate requires a geotechnical evaluation to determine if grading of the land and construction of structures  are feasible.  Such evaluations are often referred to as preliminary soil and geologic investigations, or simply as preliminary geotechnical investigations, and are designed to investigate the feasibility of the proposed development with respect to potential geologic and engineering constraints on a property. 

Soil and geologic constraints that can impact a proposed development include the following conditions:

  • Strong ground motions due to earthquakes
  • Collapsible or expansive soils
  • Ground rupture due to earthquakes
  • Liquefiable soils
  • Corrosive soils
  • Groundwater
  • Erosion
  • Flooding
  • Landslides or potential slope instability
  • Hard bedrock

We prefer to call these conditions soil and geologic “constraints” rather than “hazards,” since proper geotechnical engineering and design can usually mitigate them.

The scope of a geotechnical evaluation will vary to some degree depending on the location of the property to be developed, its topography, its underlying geologic conditions, and the nature of the structures that are to be constructed on the property.  DHLA’s engineering and geologic professionals have considerable experience with investigations ranging from simple flatland commercial and residential developments to complicated hillside construction projects having a wide range of geologic and soils constraints.

Following are some of the services DHLA provides for the geotechnical evaluation of proposed land developments:

  • Research and Review of City or County documents
  • Research and interpretation of Aerial photography
  • Site reconnaissance and geologic mapping
  • Subsurface exploration and sampling
  • Laboratory testing
  • Grading plan review
  • Geologic and engineering
  • Seismicity studies
  • Liquefaction analysis
  • Slope stability analysis

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