3 Emerging Issues Affecting Geotechnical Engineering Services

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As a budding geotechnical engineer, your services are critical to the construction of structurally stable buildings. While property developers can rely on the services of structural engineers, that alone is not enough because there are so many factors that go into building a safe structure. With this in mind, geotechnical engineers need to recognise emerging issues that affect how they provide their services. This article highlights issues that are currently shaping the geotechnical field. Read on. 

Increased Urban Migration — According to recent statistics, the Australian urban population has been growing steadily over the last four years. In fact, Australia has the highest urban population growth rate of all the OECD countries. This can be attributed to the fact that more Australians and migrants want to live in big cities. Unfortunately, these changing patterns have had a significant impact on city planners because of the demand for better infrastructure, such as roads, housing and sewerage. However, due to the shrinking habitable lands, developers have been forced to build on less stable land that they wouldn't have considered using a few years ago. In the wake of this reality, there is a need for geotechnical engineers to offer consulting services to ensure that buildings constructed on these lands are structurally stable and safe for inhabiting. 

Changing Climate — Despite the ongoing debate on the earth's climate, there is overwhelming agreement that environmental degradation is real and the leading contributor is human activities. One might ask what these climatic changes have to do with the role of geotechnical engineering. Well, the simple answer to this is that rising sea levels, deforestation and mining activities have a profound effect on land use. For instance, as sea levels continue to rise, groundwater levels in land along the coast also rise, thereby compromising the stability of the land. As such, existing and new buildings must be stabilised, and this is where geotechnical engineers came in. Your expertise will help to prevent the possible collapsing of coastal structures. The same goes for construction projects on sites affected by increased rainfall. 

Demand for Floating Architecture — From residential buildings to hotel apartments, there is no doubt that floating architecture is making waves in the architectural and construction fields. Property developers are no longer satisfied with building on land; notably, they are embracing floating buildings due to the uniqueness. However, building on a water body is challenging if you consider the lengths engineers have to go to ensure a floating structure withstands the force of ocean waves. As a geotechnical engineer, this is a new area where your services play a critical role, primarily when you work with other engineers such as marine professionals.

To learn more about consulting geotechnical engineers, consult a resource in your area.