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RE: FOUNDATIONS: "Geotechnical Report Required?"

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I did check with the city in question, and they state “it depends on what the engineer wants to do” as to whether or not a geotechnical report is required.


This comes back to the same problem I run into time and again: The state of the art for design as _I_ see it does not bear any resemblance to the statutory requirement. Therefore, “caveat emptor.” If I as engineer were to be held harmless should I decide for economic reasons that a geotechnical investigation is not required, that would be one thing but the courts and the P.E. board wil NOT see it that way, I guarantee you.


So now we come back to “Barney Fife Engineering is willing to do this, why do you have a problem with it? Guess we gotta go with ol’ Barn again.” Because that’s exactly what’s happening, with such wide discretion allowed the owner and the Engineer still on the hook where liability is concerned.


It’s enough to make you swear.


From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 1:30 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: FOUNDATIONS: "Geotechnical Report Required?"



This may seem like an odd question, but in truth it has never come up before because it has always been understood that a geotechnical investigation is or would be required for light commercial foundation design before I would proceed to do it.


But I have a job now from an architect whose response to my query “where’s the geotechnical report” was “no report available, please proceed.” And after some digging it appear the answer to the question “does the Building Code require a geotechnical investigation” seems to be, in most cases, “no.”