Geotechnical Standards and Policies

Leading the Way in Geotechnical Engineering

With the rapid advances in various aspects of geotechnical engineering, it is often difficult for agencies and owners to be aware of current state-of-the practice practices and setup technically correct and reasonable policies to address them. With its wide experience in practical application of advanced geotechnical engineering, NCSG has been helping agencies setup their geotechnical standards and policies. These agencies range from local townships (e.g., Town of Oro Valley), counties (e.g., Pima County), states (e.g., Arizona), to federal agencies (e.g., Federal Highway Administration, FHWA).

Some of the topics for which NCSG has developed current standards and policies include soil nail design and construction, MSE wall design and construction, deep soil mixing, jet grouting, geofoam and lightweight (foamed) concrete fills, micro-piles, ground anchors and pavement subgrade evaluation. NCSG led the team and process for implementation of the geotechnical engineering related aspects of Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) methods for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

NCSG fully recognizes the far-reaching impacts of new standards and policies on government agencies and their consultants. Therefore, NCSG takes utmost care in advising the agencies and owners of the tenuous balance between theory and practice and, while developing new standards and policies, considers other factors such as the agency’s procurement procedures and project delivery methods on a case to case basis. For example, the requirements for an investigation program on a conventional design-bid-build project may differ from those for a design-build project or a CM@Risk type of project.

To help an agency properly implement new standards and policies, NCSG can develop comprehensive checklists to provide a handy reference for the agency/owner engineers and their consultants. An example of such a checklist is the comprehensive 135-question checklist that NCSG prepared for ADOT to support the implementation of a new specification for MSE wall design (which NCSG also developed for ADOT) and construction. This checklist was adopted by the FHWA as part of the Geotechnical Engineering Circular (GEC 11) issued in 2009.

With its experience in teaching courses on a wide range of geotechnical topics to transportation agencies nationwide, NCSG has accumulated a unique perspective on the latest geotechnical practices. We leverage that teaching experience to provide training courses for the staff of agencies/owners to better understand and implement the policies and standards. Please contact us if you are interested in developing design and/or construction standards and policies on any aspect of geotechnical engineering.