Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) provides an integrated approach to foundations and geostructural systems engineering that includes consideration of constructability and risk management, specializing in below-ground construction in the urban environment.
The foundation is one of the most critical systems for any structure. Poor foundation performance can impair the serviceability of an entire structure. In addition, foundation systems present unique risks, because foundation construction is generally performed “in the blind” and is difficult to access for inspection and repair after construction. While these risks suggest that a conservative approach should be taken, the foundation system is one of the most expensive parts of a structure and adds little value beyond its capacity to support the structure. It is, therefore, necessary to balance performance, risk and cost in designing any foundation system.
Engineering of well-performing and economical foundations is as much an art as a science and requires a unique understanding of structural behavior, soil mechanics and construction methods. Some of the most common complaints about foundation engineering on new construction projects, along with the associated, and avoidable, costs and risks, can be mitigated through the involvement of a qualified foundation engineer.
RJDCE can provide thoughtful, project-specific foundation design parameters and recommendations that are well coordinated with site constraints, subsurface conditions, superstructure demands and likely construction methods. In addition, RJDCE offers integrated foundation engineering services, including investigations, design and support during construction, which can help contain construction costs and manage risk.
Geostructural systems are often used for temporary works in below-ground construction, as well as for foundation support and earth retention and include conventional retaining walls, soil nail walls, support of excavation systems, ground improvement and soil and rock anchors.
These systems are different from other structures in that they rely on mobilizing resistance provided by soil and rock to support service loads. Since geostructural systems typically use structural elements to distribute and transfer loads to soil and rock, their analysis and design are soil-structure interaction problems and require an understanding of both soil mechanics and structural engineering principles.
The numerous variety of geostructural systems, the wide range of applications and the uncertainties associated with soil and rock behavior expose the constructor and owner of a geostructural system to a unique combination of risk. In addition, cost-effective geostructural projects require alignment of performance objectives, site conditions and construction methods. Therefore, the engineering of cost-effective and reliable geostructural systems requires proactive risk management and design for constructability.
So as to offer a complete solution, RJDCE’s approach to geostructural systems engineering includes an in-depth understanding of structures and soil-structure interaction, along with supporting geotechnical capabilities, consideration of constructability and risk management.