Pavement Profile Design

Site Investigation Planning and Reporting

Our geotechnical engineers and geologists have extensive experience in planning and executing site investigations. It is imperative to obtain an understanding of the physical properties of soil earthworks and foundations, through surface and subsurface exploration prior to commencing your project.

The methods we use to obtain this information include drilling, soil sampling, laboratory testing, test pitting, trenching, boring, in situ tests and seismic investigations. 

Desktop Studies and Geohazard Geotechnical Assessment

Geoporte carries out Desktop Geotechnical, Geological & Geomorphological Studies including development of feasibility studies, site reconnaissance and other high level information to assist with planning or acquisition stages. A detailed geohazard assessment is carried out as part of the desktop study and recommendations are provided related to significant geotechnical risks or future investigations to understand geohazards and associated risks.

Bridges, dams, landfills, tunnels, transmission lines, pipelines and other large structures often stretch across many types of terrain, cross watercourses, and encounter changing and unstable geologic conditions, called geohazards. Whether naturally occurring or human-triggered, geohazards can cause serious damage to infrastructure and significant delays in operation and sometimes interfere with the remediation of important sites.

Operators turn to Geoporte to assess and manage geohazards to critical infrastructure. We offer them expertise in geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, geological engineering and rock mechanics, geology, seismology, and remote sensing to help avoid geological hazards and mitigate their consequences.

We identify, characterize, and classify threats to determine whether and where mitigation and monitoring are needed. This three-phase approach allows us to scale assessments appropriately, focusing time and money on the most threatened areas and sites to prioritize work that will have the biggest impact.

Following assessment, mitigation and monitoring plans are designed and implemented at sites where they are determined necessary. Even after projects conclude, we help clients protect their assets by monitoring ground and pipe movement with strain gauges, inclinometers, and monitoring markers. We can also focus on multiple hazard locations at once by scanning a region for indications of newly formed hazards.

Desktop Studies
Foundation design​

Foundation design

Having the right Concept Design for the foundation and retention system can be the difference between winning and losing a major bid. Having a buildable concept design once you have secured the project, can have a major impact on the ability of the project to be successfully delivered. At Geoporte, we understand the link between concept design, detailed design and construction.

Geoporte’s design and construction experience means that we understand that winning and delivering successful foundation projects involves a number of key ingredients:

Understanding the overall needs of the project – the requirements of the owner, the community, the structure and the environment in which it must be constructed;

Understanding the key areas of risk and reward – program, durability and serviceability of the structure, site access, groundwater and ground conditions;

By understanding the key drivers for the project the right design approach and construction technique can be selected. Our solutions are tailored to minimise construction time, cost and risk whilst still meeting, or exceeding the project performance criteria.

We provide the following services related to foundations:

  • Detailed, Concept and Tender Design
  • Deep foundations
  • Earth Retention Structures
  • Ground Improvement
  • Design optimization
  • Peer Review
  • Value Engineering
  • Procurement Advice

Proof Engineering Services of geotechnical design

As projects become more complex, independent review and proof engineering of designs and confirmation of technical accuracy and competence becomes more important to the success of projects. Working collaboratively, we draw on our past detailed design, temporary works and complex geotechnical experience, always seeking to develop best for project outcomes. 

Our philosophy is to respect the required role independently, yet add value wherever a positive impact to the overall project can be made. Geoporte brings best practice technical knowledge, combined with local delivery experience to appreciate the challenges outside of the direct technical solution.  

We recognise the importance of delivering on program which often requires seeking early agreement with the designers and construction teams to resolve issues that arise during the proof engineering process.

Geoporte has the capability to provide proof engineering review to all aspects of civil design from building projects, roads and bridges to deep tunnels and their associated ventilation shafts. 

Proof Engineering Services of geotechnical design​
Proof Engineering Services of geotechnical design​

Ground Settlement (Static and Seismic)

In geotechnical engineering, settlement is defined as the vertical movement of the ground, generally caused by changes in stresses within the earth. Subsidence is a term often used to describe ‘caving in’ or sinking of the ground, that may not be associated with changes in soil stresses. Excessive settlement or subsidence can lead to distortion and damage to structures, services and infrastructure that are founded on the material subject to the movement.   The settlement can be almost instantaneous or can take years or decades to occur, depending on the underlying soil conditions and cause of the movement.      

Settlement is most likely to occur when increased vertical stresses are applied to the ground on or above soft or loose soil strata.  It is also possible that lowering the ground water, migration of soil fines, deep voids, underground excavation for tunnels, induced ground vibrations and seismic events will cause significant settlement. 

Development of an appropriate ground model requires investigation that extends to an adequate depth, identifies any voids, uncontrolled fill, soft clay ground or loose granular material that may be cause unacceptable settlement or subsidence.  Where such materials are identified it is essential that the geotechnical risks, as well as the potential causes and consequences of settlement, are considered and adequately addressed.  

In some circumstances it may be necessary to carry out ground improvement works, to strengthen, stiffen, over consolidate and densify the ground, to reduce the magnitude of the likely settlement.  In other situations, it may be necessary to incorporate deep foundations, or to underpin existing or new structures, such that the foundation stresses are imposed below the ground strata that is subject to settlement. 

In areas of deep soft, recently deposited, clayey strata there is a significant risk of short-medium term consolidation settlement, associated with any increase if vertical effective stress, as well as long term secondary, or creep, settlement that can occur without the application of increased vertical stresses.  It must also be remembered that, if the depth of soft or loose material varies significantly in plan location, such as where recent paleo-channels are encountered, there will be significant differential settlements at the surface and associated lateral ground movements.     

The Geoporte team has significant experience in the identification, analysis, design, specification and monitoring of project solutions associated with high ground settlements.  We can help identify and resolve project challenges associated with construction works, and existing structures or services, that are impacted by potential ground settlements and identify suitable remediation measures to help manage this aspect of geotechnical risk.

Slope stability assessment and design of slope stabilisation works

Our geotechnical engineers and geologists have extensive experience in planning and completing slope risk assessments for residential lots, both on a singular lot and large scale development basis.

If you are building or planning a new residence, or renovation to an existing property on sloping ground, local planning guidelines may require a slope stability assessment be completed to assess the stability of the site. Stability Assessments consider the risks associated with the site with respect to the proposed development, ground slope, geology and drainage.

Stability Risk Assessments are mandatory if the planned work is to be undertaken within Council’s Landslide Hazard or Steep Land Overlay areas.

Slope stability assessment and design of slope stabilization works
Earthworks Design

Earthworks Design

Before construction, developers often require groundwork to create a suitable landform for their project. Sites may contain natural or man-made constraints to development, such as foundations from previous structures, or geotechnically and environmentally unsuitable materials. Reprofiling may also be required to provide suitable construction platforms.

Earthworks design identifies and specifies the required works to address these problems and to provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions that prioritise the maximum, appropriate reuse of site materials.

Geoporte’s specialists provide an integrated team of earthworks design specialists applying a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to offer solutions to complex in-ground challenges.

Geoporte offers services for sites with ground conditions or locations that prove particularly challenging, such as former landfills and cliff/ slope faces, as well as integrating the earthworks and infrastructure designs.

We provide Earthworks consulting including Level 1 and Level 2 Sampling, Inspection & Testing (AS3798), material compliance testing and detailed earthworks processes such as landfill capping or wetland construction

Geoporte provides the following services:

  • Working Platform Design and Verification
  • Compaction Control
  • Buried Pipes
  • Subgrade Assessment
  • Specifications
  • Expansive Clays
  • Residual soils

Road Subgrade Assessment and Design

Pavement analysis and design are often carried out for the construction of new roads within new residential and industrial subdivisions; which may include, roundabouts, car parks, industrial hardstand areas, and bus stops. These may include flexible and rigid (concrete) pavements. At Geoporte, our specialists provide services related to scoping of ground investigations to assess pavement subgrade conditions and interpret the test data to come up with the required subgrade strength and stiffness parameters that the pavement designer requires to design the pavement. At times, in poor ground conditions our specialists have to recommend subgrade improvement options to improve strength and stiffness characteristics of sub-grade so that pavements do not fail or undergo excessive settlements.

Geoporte can also undertake pavement evaluations on existing pavements for assessment of road, pavement material and subgrade conditions and for the design of asphalt overlay.

Road rollers building the new asphalt road
Temporary Works Design

Temporary Works Design

Many construction sites need temporary work in order to facilitate permanent works construction. Temporary works design is an area of specialist engineering and an innovative, but rigorous approach is required. It is also an area of high risk, with failure of temporary access platforms observed far too often. Improper temporary works design can cause significant risks including the failure of temporary and permanent works and/or damage to adjacent premises. 

Geoporte provides geotechnical temporary works design for all types of engineering projects. Part of every package we deliver is listening to our clients to understand what is important for them and working with them to develop solutions that best meet their needs. We understand that each project and situation is different, and tailoring solutions that fit with the conditions and constraints. We evaluate options and alternatives and work with our clients to develop preferred options for delivery.

The design process is far more than the analytical work. Our approach to temporary works design starts with an Engineering Geological Model and the approach for design. We will look for opportunities save on temporary works, such the use of risk-based criteria or short term design parameters, rather than always relying purely on standard approaches.

Our capabilities relating to temporary works includes:

  • Slope stability assessments.
  • Soil and rock cut slope support.
  • Excavation retention (e.g. soil nails, piles, sheet piles, retaining walls, anchors).
  • Foundations (e.g. tower cranes, scaffolding).
  • Cofferdams and earth embankment dams.
  • Working platforms for piling rigs and cranes.
  • Hardstands and construction platforms.
  • Earthworks and embankments, including steepened slopes.
  • Site investigations and ground model development.
  • Construction stage monitoring, assessment and advice.

Where required, we will engage with other specialist design disciplines to provide as complete temporary works design service.

Reclamation works design

Reclamation works design

Geoporte provides specialist services for design of land and marine reclamation works including scoping of preliminary ground investigations, performance based specifications, ground improvement design and pre and post compaction ground investigations and interpretation of test results to verify compliance.

Ground Improvement design

Geoporte’s specialists have decades of experience in providing design advice related to the ground improvement of granular and cohesive insitu soils as well as fill sites.

Again, practical experience and commercial understanding are used in conjunction with the most advanced computer modeling software and analytical techniques to optimize both design and constructability outcomes.

In coastal, estuarine or lake areas, areas of deep soft mud, loose sand and other weak soils can be present which require specific attention before construction of your project.

It could be a greenfields site or an existing structure built on a substandard foundation. There are options for both types of ground conditions.

A number of ground improvement techniques are available depending on the type of development and the nature of the weak ground underlying it, including but not limited to the following:

  • Dynamic compaction
  • Rapid Impact compaction
  • Vibrocompaction
  • Vibro-replacement (stone columns)
  • Surcharging with or without PVDs
  • Cement or lime stabilisation (either shallow, for roads, or deep, for bridge or building foundations)
  • Deep soil mixing (DSM)
  • Permeation grouting
  • Pressure grouting
  • Jet grouting • Stone or sand columns
  • Piling
  • Deep compaction methods
  • Preloading

Geotextile reinforcement

Ground Improvement design
Pipelines

Pipelines

At Geoporte, we provide services related to impact assessment of loads on existing pipelines and provide design of protection works in case the assessment shows potential damage to the existing pipelines. We utilise state of the art numerical techniques to assess load impact on existing water and fuel pipelines due to placement of additional fill or vehicular loading.

Retention Systems

Geoporte provides design services for various types of retention systems. Our geotechnical knowledge combined with extensive practical experience enables us to apply a real world understanding of soil-structure interaction and apply this to the design of complex retention systems. We design safe and cost-effective retention systems based on robust analyses and sound judgment. We provide design and proof engineering services for the following types of retention systems:

  • Sheet piled walls
  • Diaphragm walls
  • Bored pile walls
  • Gravity retaining walls
Retention Systems
Seismic hazard analyses and earthquake geotechnical design

Seismic hazard analyses and earthquake geotechnical design

Geoporte provides seismic hazard analysis for land infrastructure, buildings, marine infrastructure, energy infrastructure and mining projects. Our earthquake geotechnical engineers provide advices related to liquefaction of site as well as carried out earthquake design of foundations, retaining walls, earthworks and slopes.

We provide the following services:

  • Probabilistic Seismic hazard analysis
  • Liquefaction studies
  • Detailed seismic assessment (DSA)
  • Seismic design of foundations, retaining walls, earthworks and slopes
  • Risk analysis of existing and new constructions and facilities in seismic areas

Forensic Geotechnical Engineering including investigations of geotechnical failures

 

Different types of damage can occur in a geotechnical structure or a foundation due to: Settlement of structures, expansive soil, lateral movement, erosion, deterioration, bearing capacity failures, shrinkage cracking of concrete foundations, groundwater and other causes. Geoporte’s experienced personnel investigates damage, deterioration, and collapse in any geotechnical structure. We provide a full range of forensic geotechnical and foundation engineering services including evaluating of the cause of damage and developing repair recommendations.

geotechnical failures
Numerical Modelling

Numerical Modelling

Numerical modelling of geotechnical problems can be highly beneficial if is undertaken with significant care. Incorporating geological models into state-of-the-art numerical analysis must be done by experienced engineers who have a robust understanding of soil characteristics and software limitations so the outputs can be assessed in a meaningful way. At Geoporte, we utilise Numerical Analysis in conjunction with other methods to represent practical and cost-effective solutions for complex geotechnical problems.

Pavement Profile Design

Geoporte provides design for residential or commercial roads including major arterials, CIRCLY analysis and compliance to Austroads Guide to Pavement Technology, VicRoads and Municipal Guidelines with capabilities to assist major road widening and/or reconstruction projects.

Pavement Profile Design
advisory

Advisory Services

Geoporte value lies in our highly experienced staff that understand geotechnical challenges and take an open, collaborative partnership approach with clients. We pride ourselves on creating innovative, practical solutions to save our clients time and money across project phases. 

Geoporte has experience and skills in:

  • Geotechnical Tender Advice
  • Risk and Opportunity Reviews
  • Geotechnical Interpretation and Analysis
  • Assessment of appropriate foundations, materials, retention systems and ground improvements
  • Optioneering, Constructability and Risk Assessments
  • Forensic Geotechnical Investigations

Supporting funding submissions for disaster relief events