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  • Why Do The Consulting Engineers Stress On Soil Testing During Wet Weather?

    Why Do The Consulting Engineers Stress On Soil Testing During Wet Weather?

    By Fernandes & Associates 03 Aug 2021

    Wet weather is not only the cause of worry for the weekend parties or the children’s outside playtime.  Even the construction projects are derailed due to the lengthy and intense rains. Hence, the situation eventually class for soil testing.

    Rather, the consulting engineers are always aware that the soil testing is likely to be slow during the wet week. That is you must follow the processes as well as communication strategies as the consulting engineers guide for the benefit of the construction project you have taken up in Queensland, so you know what should you expect when nature is dictating a different course for the best-laid plans.

    What is the Importance of Soil Testing?

    The nature of the land on which the construction should be built in the major variable of the project, and it is much critical for getting it right before laying the foundation stone. Hence, soil testing is helpful in determining the site classification as it is influential to all the aspects of structural design as well as the foundation.

    All the contracts are even subjected to soil testing, as the outcome is likely to affect the foundation’s design and the structure that in turn affects the contract pricing. So, keep in mind if you are having a contract and are subject to soil testing, and the wet weather has delayed the soil test, then you would have to request the contract extension.

    Why the Soil Tests Will Be Delayed Due To Rains?

    Minimum rainfall will not be the big deal for skilled and experienced engineers as they will proceed with a safe approach, but sustained wet weather instructs to postpone the soil-testing course. The underlying reasons have been briefed under the following categories -

    1.Quality Issues

    i.Scarcity of Site Access

    The vehicles having a total of 2.5 tonnes drill rigs cannot get onto the boggy sites.

    ii.Limitations of the Hand Augers and Manual Push Tubes

    The field technicians use hand augers and manual push tubes as the alternatives, but these are unable to penetrate as deep as does the drill rigs. Even they are incapable of cutting through the subsurface stones. These machines lack the preciseness of the rigs, and often the samples are likely to get stuck in the push tubes, or they are so slushy that they cannot be put to any use.

    iii.Test Results Are Compromised

    The risk lies in the abnormal moisture conditions that the results will be compromised.

    2.Costs and Compliance

    i.Developers and  Councils

    The combined actions of the developers and Councils put a restriction on the vehicles with rigs in driving onto the wet boggy sites, and fine if otherwise up to $10,000 for the soil tracked to the roads.

    ii.Extra Building and Design Costs

    The compromised test results are sure to lead to another set of extra designs and building costs. During the designing time, the consulting engineers consider all these abnormal conditions.

    iii.Retrieving the Bogged Vehicles and Property Damages

    The expensive damages to the vehicles and property due to the accidents during the slippery conditions, for instance hitting a tree have to be retrieved.

    iv.Damages to Grass Verges and Turf Lawns

    Due to soft ground, the lawns can be destructed and it could lead to compensation costs.

    v.Working Carefully in the Wet Is More Time Consuming

    The site conditions and equipment cleaning are the reasons behind dedicating extra time.

    vi.Deceptive Ground Conditions

    Assessing the ground conditions could be difficult, even post-inspection, it could potentially lead to a bogged vehicle.

    3.Risks on Human Safety

    i.Increased Equipment Accidents Risks

    Drilling on slopes will be much dangerous even during the mildly wet grounds. It is possible for the vehicles to slide down the slippery hills or embankments and it could finally end up in a gully or a fence.

    ii.Increased Slip Hazards

    Highly potential for injuries because of the wet conditions that cause hazards due to slips.

    iii.Lighting Hazards

    The drill rigs could not be used in case there are lighting strike chances.

    How Long Can The Construction Project Be Delayed?

    Each site is different, even if they are next to each other. So, each project is different, hence the rain events are different. Although providing an intact answer to this question is tough yet the chief factors comprise of

    i.Decisions of the Council or the Developer

    They are the authentic body to allow the technicians to come back to the site

    ii.Onsite Inspections

    The field technicians will check the client sites to decide the accessibility and suitability for drilling. Ground conditions on some days could be surprisingly dry, while at other times the ground conditions are just the opposite. So, it is important to make a note about the site to remain boggy in all possibilities and it could be inaccessible for many days after the rain has stopped.

    How do the Consulting Engineers Keep the Involved Team Updated?

    The consulting engineers fulfill their responsibility by providing direct access to the concerned technical team, thereby enabling faster response. By utilizing email notifications, the consulting engineers send timely alerts to the clients. During the wet conditions, they take the following steps for keeping the team updated so the technical team can get back on the project site at the earliest -

    • Revisiting the sites for manually checking the conditions and send Site Delay update attached with a photo.
    • Keeping tabs on the weather as well as site conditions for quickly responding as soon as the conditions are available.
    • Communicating with the developers daily regarding changes for site access.

    Structure construction is directly related to safety and sturdiness, and the foundation to it is the ground. So, soil testing is an integral part of the process, which the consulting engineers stress for the overall assurance. As the prime investor of the project, you must closely follow the guidelines of the construction engineers to ensure you are in the right and legal direction.

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