How Geotechnical Consulting can Help to Ensure a Long Life of New Structures
Architects are responsible for making the most noticeable changes to our landscapes. These experts determine what our cities’ skylines will look like, how we think about our environment and where we will live. Our landscapes are also determined by civil engineers who plan and build our bridges and road networks.
These structures are built to last. Considering the amount of money that goes into them from the public and private sector, even billions of Rands, a sturdy and solid structure is the first requirement. However, South Africa’s soil can be anything but solid and sturdy in certain regions. For this reason, both the civil engineer and architect start their design process with the help of professional geotechnical consulting. The geotechnical consultant has a full and complete understanding of the earth’s properties and how different sized structures need to take this into account.
What Earth Properties can Affect a Structure?
When considering the properties of the earth that can destabilise a structure, many people’s minds immediately shoot to earthquakes. While this is true, they are not the only threats that face buildings, motorways and bridges, or that can undermine their foundations. Two other threats include rock falls and landslides, both of which face South Africa’s buildings and structures.
Thanks to global warming, weather patterns are becoming more and more unreliable. Heavy rain seasons can cause landslides that can topple buildings and destroy roads. South Africa’s coast is famed for its beautiful roads. In provinces like the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, there are many roadways that have been constructed through the mountains. This makes them susceptible to continuous rock falls, which can hamper economic growth, and cause damage to property and the road network itself.
Another source of instability in the earth is underground water, something that is richly available in South Africa. Geotechnical engineers are tasked with ensuring that the structure will not be undermined by soil liquefaction or sinkholes. Cutting-edge testing is required, since it is not easily determined that an area may be prone to sinkholes, unless there has been a history of it in the area.
Complete Spectrum of Geotechnical Consulting Services
Taking all of the above into account, it is clear to see that geotechnical consulting forms an important pillar in the design and construction process of many of South Africa’s most important structures, whether it is a roadway, wharf or bridge. At Gast, we have a rich history of providing South Africa with a complete spectrum of services, ranging from supply and design, to installation in both the construction and civil industries.
Throughout our long history of service in the industry, we have developed a geotechnical consulting offering that addresses the needs of our clients. Our geotechnical consulting involves specifying, testing and investigating the mechanical and physical characteristic behaviour and properties of surface and subsurface earth materials that are relevant to a construction project. We have experience in dealing with materials such as soil, slate, dimension stones and ground water, etc. Our team of experts brings many years of experience to the table and works with you to add value to your construction project.
Thanks to our philosophy of single point responsibility, our company has grown to become an industry leader in our sector. The buck stops with us, and we accept responsibility for each project’s success that we take on. When you partner with us, you receive a professional and passionate partner that sees every project through, from its inception to its completion.
Thousands of Completed Projects
By the beginning of 2000, has already successfully completed more than 11 150 projects. Our company also boasts accreditation from the United Nations and the World Bank. This only further gives credit to the quality and performance that you can expect from our geotechnical consulting team and other engineering experts.
Since 1961, we have been hard at work providing South Africa with the expertise that it needs to construct a world-class infrastructure to carry the country into the future. We continue to build on our legacy and industry reputation, and provide both the private and public sectors with the expertise that they need to complete their construction projects on time and on budget. Contact us, at Gast, to learn more about our geotechnical consulting services.