Doing it right the first time is a concept that could well apply to G2 Consulting Group Project Managers who spend much of their time evaluating subsurface conditions for new construction project sites throughout Michigan and 30-plus other states.
Since the results of the initial geotech and subsurface exploration will affect everything else in the project, and how it’s built, it’s absolutely critical information that requires experience-based knowledge and often specialized focus to provide the most cost effective recommendations for development.
Determining, understanding, and evaluating soil properties through the eyes of an owner, contractor, and designer is how G2 Consulting Group started in business more than 25 years ago and remains a central focus of the firm’s business today. It’s not glamorous work, for sure, but it is the first thing done in every construction project on the planet. And in many ways, the most important.
For contractors and developers starting a project, it’s important to partner with an engineering firm that doesn’t “just do” geotechnical work. Better to choose a firm where geotech services are a core competency, a company that fully understands best practices and also understands how these conditions impact the overall constructability of an entire project. It’s this technical understanding of the overall project and of the composition and expected behavior of what’s going on below the ground that is often the difference between a successful project versus one with “surprises” and costly change orders.
In-depth evaluation of the project begins in the proposal phase, evaluating both historical and current aerial photographs, elevations, and surrounding properties which may influence the project. This allows the correct placement and number of borings to be performed to best benefit the client in obtaining a thoroughly and properly thought out geotechnical investigation.
“Geotechnical work is Job One on every construction site but it’s usually a miniscule part of an overall project’s cost,” says G2 Project Manager Amy Schneider. “It is absolutely not the place to cut costs. In fact, a comprehensive and pragmatic geotechnical investigation can often lead to lower overall construction costs by more accurately determining issues ahead of time which may result in higher construction budgets .
Whether its understating the soil, rock, and groundwater data, or creating the design parameters for your project’s footprint, foundation and construction methods, the geotechnical investigation absolutely sets the tone for the rest of the project.
“Spending a few more dollars up front with the right company can pay huge dividends in completing the overall project on time and on budget. That’s what G2 is in business to help our clients do,” Schneider said.
G2 has completed more than 10,000 geotechnical investigations and prides itself both on its institutional knowledge and its understanding of the larger construction challenges required to bring a project to life. The firm works on a wide range of projects including: commercial, residential and industrial structures, roadways, bridges, dams, slopes, retaining walls, and communication towers.