Structural Design Engineer Role in Geo-technical Investigation


Structural Design Engineer play an important role not only in making a structure safe structurally, but also by ensuring that the site where the construction has to be carried out is safe for the given structure. It becomes very much essential for a geotechnical investigation to know the type of structure, surroundings of the proposed structures and factors which may influence the type of geotechnical investigations to be carried out.

For a detailed geotechnical investigation, it is necessary to carry out the preliminary investigation to know about the soil types, its properties and its estimated bearing capacity. When the sufficient information about soil bearing capacity is not known, or the structure requires a detailed investigation of the soil, then geotechnical investigations are carried out.


Following are the technical information which the design engineer should provide to geotechnical consultant for the geotechnical investigation:

1. The design engineer is required to provide the proposed facility and existing facilities in the vicinity.

2. Elevations of the proposed structure and existing structure/facilities.

3. More information about existing facilities such as:

  • Type of structure such as concrete or steel structure, framed structure, godown, plant structure, industrial, residential, commercial or other buildings/structures.
  • Estimated design load under various load cases such as wind, earthquake, dynamic loads, uplift, horizontal shear, compressive loads etc.
  • Settlement limit of structure or equipment.
  • Structural requirements such as retaining walls, pits, basements, elevator/lifts, compressors etc.
  • Sensitivity of proposed as well as existing structures to vibrations from external sources such movement of vehicles, operation of nearby plants and machineries etc.
  • Elevations of proposed structures with details such as ground floor, bottom of pits, basements, location of lifts/elevators, tanks, retaining walls, equipment etc.
  • Details of tanks, load conditions such as full weight, empty weight, operating weights, load during tests etc.
  • Traffic data.
  • Information about soil contamination, underground water contamination for the type of tests to be carried out during geotechnical investigation.
  • Information about underground utilities at the proposed construction site.
  • Drawings of existing structures adjacent to proposed construction site, including underground utilities.

About The Author

Author: Civil Engineer

Hello, My self Neelmani, A Civil Engineer. Presently I am working with Indian Railway. An Affiliate Member of ASCE "American Society of Civil Engineers". B.Tech in Civil Engineering from MIT Muzaffarpur and Diploma in Railway from IPWE as well as Civil Engineering from Govt. Polytechnic Muzaffarpur.

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