Site Development/Mitigation, and Forensic Investigations

EA uses on-site inspections, site characterization, and laboratory testing to overcome complex local soil conditions to provide our customers with the most sustainable designs and mitigation plans. EA’s experience also includes field assistance during construction, quality assurance/quality control plans and oversight, as well as litigation support for construction defect issues.

Forensic Investigations

EA has significant experience in the forensic investigation of problematic soils affecting residential, commercial, industrial, and mining facilities. EA is routinely engaged in the areas bulleted below to provide litigation support services for construction defects.

  • Foundation failures
  • Problematic soils
  • Pavement and ettringite evaluation
  • Settlement and compaction
  • Landslide investigation
  • Retaining wall evaluation
  • Surface grading and drainage
  • Mine facility failures

Site Planning and Development

EA staff has experience providing civil and geotechnical design for commercial developments. Engineering disciplines for site development include geotechnical investigation and the design for site grading and drainage, ADA compliance, erosion control, utilities, foundations, retaining walls, pavement, signage, and striping. EA staff are experienced in the requirements for the NPDES Construction General Permit, including Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans, Notice of Intent (NOI), and Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Foundation Design and Remediation

EA staff has over 35 years of foundation design experience using tools such as site characterization, laboratory testing, and field investigation. EA’s team is highly experienced in remediation design for residential and commercial foundations, analysis and design of foundation underpinning, compaction grouting, and excavation and fill replacement. EA personnel have also completed analysis and design for both shallow and deep foundation systems.

Grading and Drainage

Proper grading is necessary to direct water away from foundations and backfill soils around buildings to minimize distress caused by soil movement. EA has extensive experience in designing grading and drainage plans that use on-site materials and meet site space and elevation constraints, as well as meeting slope limitations for Americans with disabilities. EA has provided elevation survey services evaluating grade in areas where drainage concerns are identified. We also design and provide third party review of proposed drainage improvements for project sites.

Retaining Walls

Cost-effective retaining wall solutions can provide owners with a long-term solution to difficult site conditions. EA’s engineers have designed a wide range of retaining walls including MSE walls, tieback walls, soil nail walls, anchored walls, and gravity and cantilever walls. Temporary and permanent walls are designed for urban and rural environments.

Expansive or Hydrocollapsible Soils Investigation and Design

Expansive, soft, or hydrocollapsible soils and bedrock are found in many areas of the western U.S. EA has extensive experience with these soils and our work has formed the basis for numerous publications advancing the state-of-the-art in heave and collapse prediction. Our work has also significantly impacted the state-of-the-practice.

Foundations on Expansive Soils

Foundations on expansive soil sites are one of the most challenging issues facing builders, engineers, and building owners today. Many of the problems result from failure to identify problem soils on the site, inadequate analysis, design and/or construction, use of inappropriate foundation systems, and/or improper construction practices. Our experience in this area prompted us to author the book Foundation Engineering for Expansive Soils (Nelson et al., 2015), it remains the most up-to-date treatment of the subject.

Settlement and Compaction Investigations and Mitigation

EA has considerable experience evaluating structural distress due to poorly compacted fills. We have conducted numerous consolidation/deformation analyses and have designed methods to accelerate consolidation to accommodate earlier construction or remediation. EA has developed models to predict settlement caused by poorly compacted fills and calculated the time required for consolidation to be completed.

Development & Forensic Services:

Engineering & Design

  • Site civil design
  • Structural design
  • Dam design, storage and delivery
  • Dam safety review, decommissioning
  • Hydraulics and hydrology
  • Geotechnical design
  • Geologic analyses, geologic hazards
  • Hydrogeology, geochemistry
  • Forensic studies, litigation support
  • Feasibility analyses, costing
  • Construction management

Process, Instrumentation, Controls

  • Instrumentation, controls, and PLC
  • Electrical design, arc flash
  • Mechanical design

Environmental Monitoring & Compliance

  • Permitting, compliance
  • SPCC and SWPPP plans
  • Remedial investigations and site characterization
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Feasibility studies
  • Stormwater management
  • Health & safety

Construction Material Testing

  • Field engineering
  • Soil, concrete, asphalt testing
  • Quality assurance/quality control
  • Geotechnical laboratory testing
EA staff have performed engineering studies for over 350 sites located on expansive soils.

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