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How do I find the Right Practitioner?

Where do I begin?

If you are commissioning a construction project, whether large or small,  you are likely to be asked for a ground investigation report by your contractor. This is because they want to know what type of ground they are working on (the ground conditions) and what hazards may be present that they need to be aware of. A guide to ground investigation can be found here.

When undertaking a ground investigation our advice is that you will need both a geotechnical and a geoenvironmental specialist. Please be aware that these are two very different disciplines and it is very unlikely that an individual practitioner is expert in both.

What is the difference between geoenvironmental and geotechnical specialisms?

Put simply a geoenvironmental practitioner will understand what is in the ground. This means they will understand the issues around any contamination in the land and the implications of different soils and geology on the planned use of the land. A geotechnical practitioner will understand what the ground is – specifically what type of foundations or ground improvement techniques are appropriate to the type of soil, clay, rock etc present on your site.

What is a desk study and why do I need one?

If you need a ground investigation you will need to commission a desk study to establish what is currently known about the piece of land your project relates to. This is important as it helps identify known risks such as contamination or services and pre-existing works that are present. It should also identify the likely ground conditions on your site. This will help your contractor decide on the best approach to investigating your site. It also helps inform which foundation techniques should be used for your project.

Do I need a consultant or a contractor?

A consultant will make recommendations as to what you need for your site whereas a contractor will carry out the works to an agreed specification. Some Members may be able to carry out both, which will be indicated in the services listed in the directory.

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