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With the UK construction sector focussed on the delivery of infrastructure schemes, both major headline grabbing projects and those with less high profile, it is appropriate at this time to remind ourselves about the purpose and form of Site Investigation.
It has long been my view that site investigation is part of site-specific Research and Development and as such needs to be similarly structured and procured, with desk studies as a prelude of course but with the site work designed and adjusted to be relevant to development proposals, anticipated ground conditions, techniques available, with their benefits and limitations, access for plant and the developing ground model. Investigation in stages is advised in the codes but this latter aspect appears to have become forgotten in the rush to one-hit Site Investigation.
The presentation will address many of the main issues in today's environment, recognising the vital importance of a knowledge of ground conditions as a fundamental part of the design process where the interaction between structures and soils is key to successful, safe and sustainable design. A structure is specified; the ground is inherited. Let us use knowledge of this legacy to our advantage.
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Len Threadgold graduated in Civil Engineering from Liverpool University and, following research there, worked on airfield and bridge design and on construction sites. Since 1965 he has been deeply involved with the investigation of the ground onto, into or below which all Civil Engineering work is constructed; this is his passion. In 1979 he set up his own consultancy in Site Investigation and Geotechnical Engineering, expanding it to establish a consultancy in Hong Kong. In 1983 he established Geotechnics Limited and continues to work at their office in Coventry. The Company undertakes Site Investigation and Geotechnical Consultancy and is a leading independent specialist with additional offices in Chester, Exeter and Yorkshire.
Len has been Chairman of the ICE West Midlands, the Midland Geotechnical Society, has served on the Géotechnique Advisory Panel and on the committee of the AGS. He stimulated and chaired the working party which produced the AGS Format for software-independent transfer and storage of data on ground conditions. He has written numerous articles, some papers and has done many presentations to professional groups and Universities.