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RE: Geotech

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I have just been reviewing a geotechnical report for a project and decided
to look back at the "Geotechnical Services Scope of Work". The report
describes the number and depths of borings, types of soil properties to be
tested, and types of geotechnical recommendations to be addressed, but it
does not define any ASTM standards. Nevertheless, the geotechnical report is
well prepared and defines the ASTM standards that the testing performed
conforms to. Thus, I would agree with you that listing specific standards
does not seem to be a necessity, unless you have specific requirements for a
particular site. 
I should note that the geotechnical firm performing the testing is one that
we have worked with before, so we knew the general level of quality of their
work. The less you define, there is always some risk that you may not get
what you expect. However, it does not seem unreasonable to expect the
geotechnical engineer to follow a reasonable standard of care in conforming
to ASTM standards if general conformance to such standards is noted. 

William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)


	From: Padmanabhan Rajendran [mailto:rakamaka(--nospam--at)] 
	Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 12:47 PM
	To: seaint(--nospam--at)
	Subject: RE: Geotech
	Taking your example of soil compaction, if either of the methods is
suitable, why not leave the choice to the geotech engineer? I believe we
should prescribe performance requirement and not dictate how it should be
	In a typical case, subsurface conditions are not known a-priori. The
boring method and sampling procedure will have to be decided in the field by
the geotech representative. Compaction method and testing procedures are
dependednt on whether the soil is sandy or clayey. So, I don't see what
value is added by merely listing a few of the ASTM specs (A web search
produced 494 specifications under "geotechnical" subject) in the request for
geotech work.

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