It could be that you’ve learned everything there is to know about Cone Penetration Testing, but if you don’t know about geotechnical reporting, you’re missing out on a big step in the process. A geotechnical report is a tool used to communicate site conditions, as well as design and construction recommendations to be relayed to personnel. In other words, you’re taking the results of your CPT testing and putting them into an easy-to-understand report along with relevant conclusions. Sound simple? There’s more to it than you might think.

Geotechnical Report Essentials

Of course, you want to include specific information in your geotechnical report like the status of substrate soil, rock and water conditions. It also goes without saying that accuracy in all areas is crucial because the data in the report will be referred to often throughout the design and construction periods, as well as after the completion of the project, primarily for resolving claims. But let’s get more specific.

Here are some basic must have points that should be included in every geotechnical report; keeping in mind that final content will vary somewhat depending on the business and project:

  • Location and surface conditions: specific address, current use, surface coverings, elevation, drainage, etc.
  • Subsurface exploration data: soil profile, exploration logs, lab or in-situ test results, ground water conditions
  • Interpretation and analysis of data
  • Engineering recommendations for design
  • Anticipated problems and discussed solutions: slope stability, seismic considerations, etc.
  • Any recommended geotechnical special provisions
  • Include other types of geotechnical reports: foundation report, centerline soil report, landslide study report, etc.

With these points as a guideline, it’s possible to create a geotechnical report that covers all the right points to satisfy all parties involved in a project. This includes any government agencies that require geotechnical reports. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration requires that a geotechnical report be filed that meets many of the above suggested criteria.