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The ground and structure need to interact so the scope and form of investigation needs to match the structure’s specification. Better recognition of this by clients, engineers and funders is needed. Re-thinking site investigation design, practice and procurement would go some way to achieve this and encourage quality from and for experienced professionals.
Structures are specified; the ground is inherited, so collaboration between the designers and investigators is needed to balance expectation.
The techniques used within the site investigation industry have many experienced practitioners and their knowledge is essential to optimise investigation in the context of the site geology, its access constraints and the desired information. Site Investigation is site-specific R&D and a process that extends from initial concepts, through phased investigation work and construction to project completion and beyond.
The investigation product is data that needs to be available for efficient use by designers. Adoption of the AGS Format for data transfer, assimilation and storage is allowing better and more rapid use of all the data and can satisfy BIM requirements; awareness of this innovation is vital to progress.
Chairman and Chief Engineer, Geotechnics Limited
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 Investigations and provides Geotechnical Advisory Services. It is a leading independent specialist with additional offices in Chester, Exeter and Yorkshire.
Len has been Chairman of the ICE West Midlands and the Midland Geotechnical Society, and has served on the Géotechnique Advisory Panel and the committees of the BGA and AGS. He stimulated and chaired the working party that produced the AGS Format for software-independent transfer and storage of data on ground conditions. He has written numerous articles and papers and has delivered many presentations to professional groups and Universities.