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Kontur's Geotechnical Engineering and Consulting Services:

Desktop and Feasibility Studies

Geotechnical reviews are completed when professional opinions and/or preliminary information is required for a project that is typically in the early planning and feasibility stages.

The level of study completed as part of this service typically involves a site reconnaissance and desktop study.  The purpose of the site reconnaissance is to visually assess general site conditions and features of geotechnical engineering significance.  The desktop study includes review of relevant information, documents, and/or publications related to the proposed project.  Previous experience in the general vicinity of the proposed site adds significant value to a review.

Opinions and preliminary geotechnical comments can then be formulated based on this information.

Exploration and Testing

Geotechnical Exploration and Testing services are completed to obtain site specific subsurface information, such as:

  • What type of soil, rock, and/or groundwater conditions, may be encountered beneath a site; and/or,

  • What may be the likely characteristics or behaviors of the encountered soil, rock, or groundwater have, that may influence your project.

The level of study typically involves a field and laboratory program.  Field programs typically include excavating test pits (with an excavator) and/or advancing drilled or pushed testholes with a drill rig at the site.  Soil, rock, and/or groundwater, raised from the test pits or testholes is visually logged and classified in the field with representative samples taken for further classification and testing in the laboratory.  In-situ field testing may also be completed during the field program.

Kontur can develop and implement geotechnical exploration and testing programs for a variety of site conditions.  The quality and level of these programs are necessary to develop representative and reliable information that is used to characterize the site from a geotechnical point-of-view.

Representative and reliable geotechnical characterizations are an essential part of any geotechnical analysis, assessment, and/or design, and can lead your project to a dependable and cost-efficient solution.  Geotechnical characterizations that are incomplete and/or not based on adequate, site-specific geotechnical information, increase the risk of geotechnical unknowns and can significantly alter the path of your project with quickly escalating costs.

Analyses, Assessments, and Designs

Preliminary and Detailed Geotechnical Assessments are completed for various purposes that may include evaluations for:

  • Subdivision and buildable areas (for Development Permit and/or Variance Applications)

  • Building or Structure Design and Construction (for Building Permit Applications)

  • Potential Geological Hazards and mitigation strategies.

  • On-going geotechnical problems such as ground settlement or subsidence that may have caused damage to an existing building or structure.

Kontur is educated and experienced with the following:

  • Consolidation Settlement Analysis due to soft, organic, and/or compressible soils.

  • Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading Analysis due to a significant seismic event.

  • Soil and Rock Slope Stability Analysis for steep, unstable, and/or engineered slopes or embankments.

  • Bearing Capacity Analysis for foundation support, including both conventional shallow foundations and deep (piled) foundations.

  • Lateral Earth Pressure Analysis for temporary and permanent retaining structures and walls.

  • Landslide Hazard Analysis.

  • Foundation Design for both shallow and deep (piled) foundations, including mitigation strategies for soft/compressible and/or liquefiable soils.

  • Retaining Wall Design for a variety of retaining wall types.

  • Soil and Rock Anchor Design for permanent support and/or slope hazard mitigation.

  • Shoring and Underpinning Design for temporary excavation support.

  • Unsupported Excavation Design.

Field Review and/or Monitoring


Field reviews during construction are a key component to the successful completion of any project.  Field reviews allow the Engineer to review the work and to determine if the work has been completed in general conformance of the provided geotechnical recommendations and designs.  Field reviews may include periodic site visits during key stages of construction, such as building siting, stripping and excavation, subgrade surface review and approval, placement and/or compaction of fills, and backfilling, to name a few.  Large, complex, and/or ‘critical’ buildings or infrastructure projects often require more frequent and/or full-time construction monitoring/supervision.

Permit Documents and Applications

Based on the analyses, designs, and field reviews completed, Kontur can provide the following documentation as the Geotechnical Engineer-of-record for various projects as required by the Development and Building Permit processes:

  • Appendix D - Landslide Assurance Statements

  • Appendix J - Flood Hazard and Risk Assurance Statement

  • Schedule B - Assurance of Professional Design and Commitment for Field Review (Geotechnical)

  • Schedule CB - Assurance of Professional Field Review and Compliance (Geotechnical)

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