geotechnical drilling

Geotechnical Drilling: All Facts You Should Know

Drilling that is done during the building process is known as geotechnical drilling. As part of the investigation process carried out on site prior to construction, this is primarily for structures like buildings and oil rigs. Drilling contractors who are certified to use specific drilling equipment typically handle this task. Keep reading, you will learn more about geotechnical drilling.

What is Geotechnical Drilling?

A site investigation technique called geotechnical drilling aims to elucidate the surrounding physical characteristics of a construction site. This procedure, also known as geotechnical boring, entails assessing the groundwater, soil, rock, and general conditions within a specific depth and location. This crucial work makes sure that construction can proceed as scheduled and aids in identifying problems before they arise.

Why Geotechnical Drilling?

Performing a site analysis is a common justification for geotechnical drilling. A site analysis is done to determine whether or not it will be suitable for construction. Drilling is used in this to determine soil stability and other important factors, as well as to gather rock and soil samples.
For extremely large structures, site analysis is essential. A structure could collapse due to unstable rock or soil conditions, or an earthquake or flood could result in dangerous conditions. Before a building permit is issued, the law typically requires a safety investigation of the site, and ongoing safety monitoring is required to spot any changes or signs of emerging issues that could endanger the development. In order to conduct the investigation, drilling rigs and other drilling equipment must be deployed to the site.

What Do Geotechnical Site Investigations Help Display?

Numerous things will be shown through the investigations themselves. These include:

● Soil compaction

● Water content

● Soil permeability

● Soil grain size

● Potential contaminants

In many cases, this testing will be sufficient to meet the specifications and criteria of the planned project. However, in some cases, additional testing—either in a laboratory or by geotechnical engineers or geologists—may be required.

How is Geotechnical Drilling Done?

Site analyses and geotechnical testing can be done in a number of different ways. In one of our earlier blogs, which you can read here, we went over these various sampling techniques in more detail. But in brief, there are a variety of sampling techniques, such as trial pits, shear vane testing, standard and cone penetration testing, and more.

It’s crucial that you hire a reputable contractor to conduct this investigation. With the knowledge that the results you’ve been given are completely accurate, highly accurate sample testing enables a construction project to get started quickly. Comparatively, poor testing will result in issues later on, both financially and possibly legally because it may be determined that adequate testing and due diligence were not performed. As a result, it is crucial to work with a drilling company with experience, like ours.

geotechnical drilling

What is Geotechnical Soil Borings?

The task of assessing the suitability of the ground for the planned construction project falls to geotechnical engineers. In order to identify unsuitable foundation soils, such as loose, coarse-grained soils, peats, or soft, fine-grained soils, engineers can sample and test organic materials on the entire site using geotechnical drilling. This allows engineers to warn contractors about these soil types. The site’s rock formations, groundwater levels, and various soil types will all be mapped out concurrently with this procedure by a geological review. These results help outline the fundamental requirements of the upcoming project, including the potential types of tools and manpower.

What is Geotechnical Boring Log?

In advance of construction, geotechnical drilling can reveal a number of problems. Findings are recorded in a geotechnical boring log, and can include:

  • Topographic survey data
  • Boring location on site
  • Soil conditions, including soil type, color, consistency, moisture levels, clay content, density, geological origin, and more
  • Soil and rock strata depth
  • Sample sizes and recovery methods
  • Types of drills used and drilling resistance
  • Water levels
  • And more

The geotechnical boring log is a crucial piece of documentation for construction planning. Engineers will use these findings to evaluate:

  • Project feasibility: A new location or soil improvement will need to be taken into consideration if it turns out that the ground conditions are inadequate for the project’s scope.
  • Environmental impacts: Proactive planning is aided by calculating the immediate and long-term effects of construction on the environment.
  • Necessary equipment: Sites with dense soil and rock formations might need more heavy equipment and work to get started.
  • Cost estimates and timelines: Working in less-than-ideal ground conditions can require more equipment and contractor labor, increasing costs and lengthening timelines for development, design, and construction.

When is a Site Investigation Needed?

So, do all construction projects require geotechnical drilling in some capacity? Generally speaking, yes. Since they are so crucial, that is the reason. There are a ton of industry standards and laws to follow whenever you’re thinking about a construction project in the standardized world in which we live. However, the stress brought on later by a lack of/inadequate site investigation would prove to be much, much worse. Some people may view them as surplus to requirements. Geotechnical drilling can be used to assess the viability of underground cables, waste disposal facilities, and pipelines in addition to construction projects.

What Tools Do Geotechnical Engineers Use?

Geotechnical instrumentation: This refers to the equipment that engineers use for geotechnical engineering tasks, such as drills, soil testers, hydrometers, hammers, excavation tools, magnifying lenses, and more.


For professional geotechnical drilling services on your next project, work with Central Geotech since not all geotechnical engineers are created equal. Prior to beginning construction, get in touch with us to get going and find comfort.