Even small projects could benefit from using the project specific geological training approach taken by recent major infrastructure projects, according to GCG senior partner Jackie Skipper.
“Both Tideway and Crossrail used project specific training because the clients accepted the geotechnical risk to the project,” said Skipper speaking at the British Drilling Association Solutions for the future of the geotechnical industry conference earlier this week.
“The engaged with the geological and geotechnical specialists at an early stage to in order to fully understand the risks.”
According to Skipper, all projects could gain from using this process and better apply what is already known about the geotechnical issues at the start of work in a common sense way.
Skipper said that she believed the involving the drillers in the process at Tideway and Crossrail could have further added to the benefits. “They are the ones that see the ground first hand and could have filtered information back to the team more readily if they had a better understanding of what was relevant,” she said. “The contract was involved and information from the construction was fed back to the design teams to result in a better prediction of ground risk and mitigation of design risks.
“Training and communication is a virtuous circle.”
Other presentations at the event looked at how automation could improve productivity in the geotechnical market but Skipper said that one of her concerns about this drive was the loss of being able to see the ground first hand. “During excavation of the SCL works at Farringdon for Crossrail, Dr Sauer logged the face at every stage which gave us better insight into the ground conditions,” she explained. “Automation would remove that opportunity.”