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RE: Boring logs

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I have worked on projects using a variety of methods: 

1. By general reference in drawing or spec notes, listing title of
report, date, and the name of the soil's firm which prepared the report.

2. With a statement that the geotechnical report is available in the
Engineer's office for review by appointment. 

3. Inclusion of soil borings in the specs or on a drawing but without
the written "recommendations" of the Geotechnical Engineer. 

4. Inclusion of the full geotechnical report as an Appendix, with a
statement that it is included for "reference only" but is not part of
the Contract documents. 

It seems that the method used was determined by each individual Project
Manager - I'm not sure what "criteria" was used to determine the method
used. Following are my own opinions: 

Method 1 is the "minimum" one should do but is too vague as to what the
Contractor is to do about the information. Item 2 is what I've seen the
most often, although I question why the information is not included in
the published contract documents - if you want the bidders to properly
evaluate the subsurface conditions, why not include the necessary
information in the documents provided to them? Item 3 lets the
Contractor see the subsurface conditions and make their own judgments
regarding conditions - this initially appears to be a good solution, but
the full report usually provides additional valuable information that
may be relevant. And why reprint the boring logs on a drawing sheet, if
they can be included as an attachment to the specifications? Thus, I
prefer item 4 including the statement that the report in the Appendix is
not part of the contract documents. This ensures that the bidders have
all relevant information readily at hand but cannot cite the report as
allowing deviations from the contract documents. (In fact, it is
possible that the engineer may incur liability by withholding known
information that may affect the Contractor's costs, if geotechnical
information is not at least made available.) 

In my opinion, the Geotechnical Engineer should make "recommendations"
for fill materials and construction methods but the EOR should be
responsible for writing those requirements into the contract documents.
The geotechnical report is generally not written in mandatory
specification language and may include alternatives for the EOR to
choose from; and in some cases the EOR may use other alternatives not
directly addressed in the geotechnical report. 


From: Robert Freeman [mailto:robert.freeman(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 2:23 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Boring logs

Hi Gail:
I have only seen boring logs on structural plans once in my 30+ years.
Some very old drawings done by another engineer.  That job had become an
object of litigation.  We were hired to recommend repairs.
I think to put the logs (done by another professional) on your drawings
is only an open door to litigation.  We refer to Geotechnical.  We tell
the Contractor he is responsible for the requirements of the Geotech
report.  We do not bind it in our specifications.  Don't attach it to
calc's, etc.  Don't hire the Geotech, normally.  It's part of the
Owner's responsibilities under the Services Agreement  to describe the
Owner's property.  By the way, we have outstanding Geotech consultants.
With Joy and Hope,
Bob Freeman, Architect
Structural Designer
Integrated Design Services, Inc.
(949) 387-8500

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