Soft soil engineering

One of the most challenging areas of engineering involves construction over and within deposits of soft soil. Embankments constructed on soft soil must be engineered to meet stability and settlement criteria, and excavations within soft soil must be retained to support the higher earth pressure loads from the weaker ground. When poorly understood, issues with soft ground can often be significant, resulting in unanticipated cost and time delays. All soft soil engineering begins with the development of the Engineering Geological Model to properly characterise the ground and define characteristic engineering parameters. Tailored geotechnical site investigation and laboratory testing are important to provide high quality data for the project.

Our early involvement as a geotechnical specialist is important to develop the ground model and identify geotechnical issues to manage the geotechnical risk. To meet post-construction requirements, we utilise our skills and knowledge to design ground treatments and improvements such as preloading and surcharging, reinforcement and stiffening. Our staff have the experience and skills to resolve the engineering challenges, having worked on projects such as Sunshine Coast Airport Upgrade, Kingsford Smith Drive, Gateway Upgrade North, Smithfield Bypass, West Gate Tunnel, Brisbane Cruise Terminal and several smaller transportation and land development projects.

We use many analytical approaches including Settle3, Plaxis 2D and 3D, Wallap and in-house packages developed from a “first principles” understanding of soft soil behaviour and consolidation theory.

Our expertise is led by Greg Hackney, Jo-Anne Perrett, Ian Shipway and Steven Perrett who have many years of experience on soft soil engineering projects.

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