Key Points:

  • Inadequate or mismatched expertise can lead to additional costs
  • Valuable geotech experience specific to your project may not be available
  • Often opens the door to inefficient solutions

When it comes to choosing engineering services for your commercial construction project, a sweeping, bundled package from a single firm might seem like the silver bullet – one contract, one team, one (hopefully) predictable price tag. But, beware of hidden inefficiencies when Geotechnical Engineering is pitched as just one more line item.

Narrow expertise in a wide portfolio

Among a large firm’s many services, geotech may not be a strength. The result can be inadequate initial assessments and incomplete geotechnical investigations that can come back and bite you in scope creep and expensive change orders. 

Make sure the scope of work adequately covers your needs right from the start, including priorities that may be especially important for your specific project, such as thorough site characterization, foundation recommendations, and risks unique to the subgrade.

Be aware that difficult issues at a build site might not be easy to detect, and simply hoping for the best can be costly. Inexperienced investigations may wind up leading to additional investigations, reports, and potentially new contracts with other specialists. Can you afford to extend timelines and budgets?

Inadequate assessments won’t capture varying conditions across build sites.

Expertise that doesn’t match your project

Building in complicated or unknown ground water, an industrial brownfield, or near a river? Maybe the subgrade at your build site is riddled with legacy infrastructure, similar to the deep layers of pipes, cables, and relics scattered beneath Kansas City’s Crossroads District. 

Geotechnical Engineers with specialized experience directly relevant to your project’s complexity and requirements can shield you from a steady stream of costly, time-consuming surprises. You’ll want the confidence that comes with their proven track record in the subgrade where your team is working. They’ll offer the advantage of being able to anticipate problems before they erupt into budget pressures and schedule threats.

Building near a river? Contracting Geotechnical Engineers with directly related experience pays in many ways.

Conversely, if you’re contracting bundled engineering services, you may be paying for specialized expertise you don’t need because it doesn’t match your project. Optimizing a precise match is key to ensuring best results at the right price.

Skipping right to cookie-cutter solutions

A big bundle of engineering services can leave the door wide open for quick and straight-forward geotechnical solutions. The problem is, knee-jerking toward one-size-fits-all approaches to foundation development and other subgrade strategies can often favor an engineering firm more than the project owner and general contractor it serves. Overly conservative, cookie-cutter solutions can be extremely inefficient, leaving money-saving and time-saving alternatives on the shelf. 

A specialized geotech firm is more inclined to tailor custom solutions to efficiently match your project’s needs, from safety and stability, to resources and budget realities. The results can mean substantially less spending on materials, and streamlined processes that still keep projects on a timely track.

Bundled services are not always tailored to minimize material costs and encourage efficient foundation solutions.

Nothing beats valuable peace of mind. Having a dedicated team of experts focused solely on your project’s geotechnical needs provides greater confidence and reduces stress for project owners and general contractors. Knowing expert work is being performed directly in line with your specific goals makes cost-savings, time-savings, and other tangible results feel even better.