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6CV008 Geotechnical Requirements

6CV008 Geotechnical Requirements

 Department of Civil Engineering

6CV008 Geotechnical Requirements/Guidelines


In essence the final submission from the geotechnical engineer needs must comprise two distinct parts, aligned to Eurocode 7:

            Part 1 The Geotechnical Desk Study

            Part 2 The Geotechnical Design Report 

Interim submission 1 is intended to cover the requirements for the desk study report, whilst interim submission 2 as well as the final submission, cover the requirements for the geotechnical design report. 

Further Information

As discussed during the launch of this module, we are requiring students to make interim submissions in an effort to break down the project work into bite-sized chunks and so ensure a steady rate of progress for each student. The purpose of this document is to clearly set out what is expected from you, from a geotechnical point of view, within each of the interim submissions. This document builds upon the generic requirements presented in the Assignment Brief. 

Uploaded onto Canvas is Section 52 from the ICE Manual of Geotechnical Engineering. It is strongly recommended that you become familiar with Section 52 as it provides valuable information both for this module and for your future careers. Section 52 deals with “Foundation types and conceptual design principles” and is referred to frequently within this document. Both volumes of the ICE Manual of Geotechnical Engineering are available on short term loan from the library. 

Formative One to one “chats” (11th February 2020) 

(i)               Desk Study and Cross Sections

Figure 52.6 (within Section 52) illustrates the information requirements and the foundation design process. By the 11th February you should have gathered sufficient information to essentially produce a desk study report.


The desk study should include a plan and vertical cross sections through and beyond the site boundaries. The six features detailed on page 736 should all be shown. These features will allow conceptual designs to be produced, as part of your second submission. Examples are presented on pages 736 and 737.


It is essential that you gather as much information as possible. Geological maps are essential as well as any information related to past use of the site and any reports from adjacent structures. A good place to start is the British Geological Survey, http://www.bgs.ac.uk/

Additional information can be obtained from Historic England regarding previous use of the site. 

Interim Submission No.1 (03th March 2020)                            20% of Assignment 2

Your submission must include everything covered at the formative chats, part (i) above as well as:

(ii)              Conceptual Designs

At this stage initial cognisance must be demonstrated with respect to the technical coverage of CEEQUAL, (see pages 14 and 15 of An Introduction to CEEQUAL). In addition, Section 52.3.2 sets out the general considerations that need to be addressed in order to develop conceptual designs. These are:

-        Acceptable stability and deformation

-        Risk management

-        Costs and programme for construction

Each of these will need to be developed in more detail as the semester progresses, but for now a good appreciation is all that is needed. 

(iii)            The five S’s

Table 52.4 sets out a series of questions to be posed and considered before conceptual designs are produced. These are summarised at the five S’s: soil, structure, site, safety and sustainability. They are each expanded upon in Section 52.3.3. You should be able to demonstrate how you have considered the five S’s, and how they have influenced your choice of conceptual design. 

Interim Submission No.2 (24th March 2020)                            20% of Assignment 2


Requirements for the Geotechnical Design Report

The key requirements from the original brief can be divided into two main sections;

(i)     Design aspects

(ii)    Practical, environmental, and health & safety aspects 

(i)               Design aspects

-        Justification of foundation type

The conceptual design should have identified the type of foundation (generally either deep or shallow). Now the various types of say deep foundations should be evaluated and then provide justification for the most appropriate solution chosen. 

-        Analyses and design of the chosen option

The design should be in accordance with EC7 making reasonable assumptions wherever necessary. 

-        Justified selection of suitable parameters

The parameters used should be based upon all available information and again using reasonable assumptions where needed. You should state how, if it were a real project, you would confirm the parameters being used in design. Section 52.6 in the ICE Geotechnical Manual provides some useful guidance on the selection of parameters. See also Fig. 52.17 for a careful consideration of parameters. 

-        Appreciation of the uncertainties of parameters used

To demonstrate your appreciation that your chosen parameters may not be accurate, you should perform a second design based upon weaker parameters and then evaluate the impact such parameters have on the design, as well as cost of the project. 

-        Assessment of the settlement of the option

Section 52.4 details allowable foundation movement for various structural forms. You must evaluate the predicted settlement of your foundation, this should be in the context of the structure and show cognisance of acceptable settlement (total and differential). Issues such as the sequence of construction may well affect settlement, see pg 752. 

Final Submission (Tuesday 5th May 2020)                               40% of Assignment 2 

Please note that this is a stand-alone full submission that should clearly contain the two distinct parts:

            Part 1   The Geotechnical Desk Study

            Part 2   The Geotechnical Design Report 

Part 2 should contain all the aspects of Interim Submissions 1 and 2 as well as the details set out below: 

(ii)              Practical, environmental, and health & safety aspects

-        Practicality of building the chosen option, including safety aspects

A geotechnical engineer has the responsibility to ensure that their design is both practical to build and limits the health and safety risks to all those involved in construction as well as the public. Reference should be made to the current CDM Regs. 

-        Dealing with any underground services

The desk study should have identified any possible existing underground services and now you should comment on how to deal with such services. Even if your desk study seems to show no services, you should have a plan in case anything turns up! 

-        Sustainability of the proposed design

Present a brief discussion of the sustainability aspects of your proposed design. 

-        Evaluation of environmental issues and risk assessment

Present a brief review of any potentially harmful environmental aspects of your design and construction technique. Describe the measures that you can take to limit such aspects.

See the risk management section on pg742 of the ICE Geotechnical Manual.



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