Geotechnical

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We see geotechnical engineering as a science – the art of determining the properties of an unseen and variable material to produce structures that are safe, reliable and cost effective. With us, you can expect client centric service through the investigation, analysis and design of your project.

Our services include:

Investigation

  • Geological and hydrological
  • Foundations
  • Material resources
  • Survey and mapping
  • Contaminated sites

Analysis

  • Slope stability
  • Bearing pressures
  • Seepage
  • Seismic risk
  • Groundwater

Design

  • Foundations and mine planning
  • Underground openings
  • Retaining walls and pavements

With more than 75 years’ experience, GHD was the first services provider to pioneer technology in Australasia for:

  • Compacted rockfill
  • Concrete faced dams
  • Post-tensioned dams
  • Roller compacted concrete dams
  • Dams on soft ground
  • Chemical grouting of foundation soils
  • Slurry trench cut-off and filters

For further information, contact:

Sam Mackenzie
Service Line Leader, Geotechnical – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T: +61 2 9479 9983
E: Sam MacKenzie

Renato Pasqualoni
Service Line Leader, Geotechnical – North America
T: +1 905 7124771
E: Renato Pasqualoni

Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

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A number of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 have devastated the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Government-owned project delivery company, Ōtākaro, (previously Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority), appointed GHD to design the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the 2010/2011 earthquakes.

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Capital Strategic Dredging

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NPC proposed the development of additional berth sites within the South Arm of the Hunter River, in the Port of Newcastle. The developments would assist NPC in meeting its objectives of diversifying trade and development options within the Port.

GHD was engaged by Newcastle Port Corporation to undertake an Environmental Assessment and associated engineering studies for the capital dredging of ten berth box sites and ancillary channel widening in the South Arm in Hunter River, Port of Newcastle.

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Coomera to Helensvale Duplication

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GHD was engaged by Queensland Rail through a design and construct contract with Golding Contractors to provide the detailed design and site support services for the Coomera to Helensvale Duplication project.

Coomera to Helensvale is the only section of single track remaining on the Gold Coast line and is a relatively long section of single track, approximately 8.2 km in length.

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Corella Dam, Australia

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GHD’s association with Corella Dam in Queensland stretches back more than 50 years. The dam was designed by GHD in the 1950s to provide water supply for the Mary Kathleen uranium mine and township. We also supervised the construction. The project was completed in the late 1950s.

Innovative solutions were developed for this project to maximise the use of locally-available materials and to take into account the proposed limited life span of the mine (expected to be 20 years). A dumped and sluiced rockfill dam with an upstream shotcrete facing was selected with the rockfill sourced from the adjacent spillway excavation. Ownership of the dam has since passed to the Queensland Government and GHD continues to be involved. We undertook a safety review of the structure and prepared dam safety documentation in 2004 and were subsequently engaged to design upgrade and remedial works mainly to address deterioration of the structure and changes in the required spillway capacity. Throughout the life of the project, GHD has been involved in undertaking dam safety inspections of the structure.

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Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor

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GHD was engaged by Queensland Rail (Horizon Alliance) to deliver the Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor Project, a major transport initiative required to service the future needs of the growing western corridor region.

The Queensland Government built a new passenger rail line from Darra to Springfield and duplicated the Centenary Highway between Richlands and Springfield. This project is part of the State Government’s South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program 2007 – 2026 and will be delivered in stages.

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Derwent Park Stormwater Re-use Scheme – Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR)

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Glenorchy City Council (GCC) faced the challenge of storing stormwater captured for re-use as industrial and irrigation supply. Due to the urbanised nature of the area, limited surface water storage opportunities existed.

The council appointed GHD to advise on suitable options. Our team began by identifying a potential aquifer in a sand and basalt-filled palaeo-channel of the Derwent River. We then designed and carried out a geophysical, drilling, testing and modelling program, which confirmed the presence of the aquifer and identified extraction yields of up to 30L/s per bore. The team designed a bore network and injection/extraction schedule to optimise limitations of the available reticulation system, site access and the aquifer variability. We also provided water quality input and output requirements to the council’s treatment plant design team.

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East West Link

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GHD has been working as part of the East West Link Planning Alliance alongside the NZ Transport Agency, Beca and Buddle Findlay since 2016 to deliver the suite of consents for the project with the aim of having the NZD1.25 to NZD1.85 billion project ‘tender ready’ by December 2017.

The East West Link is one of the New Zealand Government’s top priority transport projects in Auckland. It is also one of the top priority projects identified in the ‘Auckland Plan’ – the planning guide for the city. The project aims to:

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EastLink

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The Eastlink Project is integral to the state’s program for a seamless transport network. Construction of the AUD$1.8 billion freeway commenced in 2004 and was completed in 2008. GHD provided services in roads and highways engineering, structural engineering and tunnelling.

The project comprised over 40 km of freeway standard road, 1.5 km of twin tunnels, 16 grade separated interchanges, more than 95 separate bridges, traffic control equipment and intelligent transport systems, tolling systems and road furniture, urban design elements and landscaping.

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Elan Valley Aqueduct – Bleddfa

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The Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) was constructed in 1904 to provide drinking water to the city of Birmingham, UK. The aqueduct is operated and maintained by Severn Trent Water.

GHD is playing a key role in helping the Barhale North Midland Construction Alliance (BNMA) construct four sections of new aqueduct, reinforcing sections of the original structure that are showing signs of structural distress. Bleddfa was the first site to be addressed, with a regulatory output date of March 2017.This tight deadline was achieved through a fast track design process undertaken in close collaboration between Severn Trent Water, BNMA and GHD.

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Enlarged Cotter Dam

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GHD was engaged by Icon Water (formerly ACTEW Corporation) as the design partner for the Bulk Water Alliance (BWA), which was formed in May 2008 to design and construct Australia’s third largest concrete gravity dam, the Enlarged Cotter Dam (ECD).

The ECD project was the centrepiece of a comprehensive Water Security Program for the Australian Capital Territory. The project comprised the following components:

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Forgan Bridge Duplication

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GHD was commissioned, as part of a team, by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to update Forgan Bridge connecting the northern suburbs to the central business district of Mackay in North Queensland.

Forgan Bridge, across the Pioneer River in Mackay, was first opened in 1938 by the then Premier of Queensland and Member for Mackay, William Forgan-Smith. The bridge has undergone significant maintenance over the years including underpinning and widening in 1979 and girder repair work more recently. Increased traffic volumes brought about by Mackay’s rapid population growth and expansion of the northern suburbs of the city, has seen the original bridge reach peak capacity and nearing the end of its design life. The condition of the old bridge combined with carrying approximately 30,000 vehicles per day with an anticipation of increase to 35,000 by 2015, warranted a case for the replacement of Forgan Bridge.

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Forrestfield Airport Link

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The Forrestfield Airport Link is an 8.5 km rail line running between Perth Airport and Forrestfield, Western Australia (WA). The $2B state government-owned project began construction in 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.

GHD was engaged as the lead consultant for the Salini Impregilo and NRW Joint Venture (SI-NRW JV) Design and Construct lump sum tender and coordinated all multidisciplinary engineering, geotechnical and architectural design inputs.

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Freedom Tower, New York, USA

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GHD was contracted for material inspection services related to the construction of Freedom Tower, the first of four towers that will encompass the new World Trade Center on Manhattan Island in New York City.

Our team carried out plant inspections of the fabrication of steel structures and anti-corrosion procedures for the Freedom Tower, which will dominate the site of the former twin towers, rising to a height of 1776 ft (541 m)..

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Gateway WA Western Australia Road Project Pavement Design

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The Gateway WA project is an AUD1 billion road infrastructure project that was developed to improve the movement of traffic around in the vicinity of the airport. It is a vital link to move freight around the city.

The Leach Tonkin Interchange, one of four new interchanges constructed as part of the project, is located at the approach to the airport runway and designed to meet height restrictions to enable aircraft to land and take off safely.

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Iguig Mine-mouth Open Pit Geotechnical Assessment

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D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc. (DMAI) engaged GHD to conduct a geotechnical assessment of their Iguig coal mine, located in the Cagayan Province of the Philippines.

GHD leveraged our global experience in open pit mine-wall design from our Australian operating centres, together with the capability of our Philippines staff, to provide a detailed and prompt response to DMAI.

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Kangaroo Creek Dam Safety Upgrade

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GHD was engaged in late 2014 by the South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water) to design the upgrade works on the Kangaroo Creek Dam Upgrade Project. The project objective is primarily to increase the spillway capacity and improve the seismic stability of the embankment to ensure the 50-year old concrete faced rockfill dam meets modern safety standards.

GHD completed geotechnical investigations for the upgrade works between February and July 2015, including geological mapping, test pit excavations, diamond cored boreholes and laboratory testing of soil and rock core samples in GHD’s NATA-accredited laboratory in Sydney.

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Kelalong Dam, Malaysia

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Kelalong dam is a water supply dam for the Bintulu District in Sarawak and is located about 20 km northeast of Bintulu.The project involved the pre-feasibility and feasibility study for the dam including yield analysis and hydrological studies followed by detailed design.

Key features of the project include:

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Kennedy Point Wharf

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Our team, led by Mark Bialik and Geoffrey Farquhar, developed a design to reconstruct the existing wharf, with minimum disruption to operations. Construction is set to commence mid-2018.

Managed from Auckland, collaboration across our global operations and connected network saw the CAD model and new structure prepared in Chile, design verification and specifications in Australia, and the geotechnical investigation, consent application and environmental assessment in Auckland.

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Legacy Way Tunnel

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GHD was engaged by the Transcity Joint Venture to provide all geotechnical and geological requirements for design and construction support for the Legacy Way Tunnel in Brisbane, Queensland.

The project consists of two 4.2 km Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) tunnels with 46 connecting passages that extend between two cut and cover tunnel portals. In addition a 550 m long purpose built conveyor tunnel was constructed by conventional tunnelling methods to transport the TBM spoil to a working quarry.

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Mabilo Mining Project

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Mt Labo Exploration and Development Corporation (MLEDC) appointed GHD to conduct pre-engineering services, leading into a feasibility study for a mining project in Camarines Norte, Philippines, in mid-2014.

The initial stages of the project included environmental and project planning to meet compliance and regulatory requirements for the site.

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Michael Herbert Bridge

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GHD worked collaboratively with the client, City of Holdfast Bay, on the development of the Michael Herbert Bridge (formerly King Street Bridge) which opened with a well-attended community opening ceremony.

GHD was intricately involved in all aspects of the project including architectural, structural, civil and traffic, geotechnical investigation, environmental risk assessments, urban design, procurement services, superintendent services and construction phase services.

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Mountainview High School

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RoseWater GHD provided plans and design of drainage, grading, paving, utilities, and temporary erosion and sediment control (TESC); and construction observation and support for a new
193,000 square feet high school in Auburn, Washington.

The development on the 40-acre site consists of buildings, paved pedestrian areas, parking lots (providing a total of 650 spaces), a bus drop-off area, four ball fields, a soccer/football track and field, and seven tennis courts.

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New terminal, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, USA

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Chicago's O'Hare Airport is one of the busiest in the world. A new terminal has been added to better serve its customers.

On behalf of the City of Chicago, STS Consultants Ltd. retained GHD to perform monitoring and quality control testing for the fabrication the steel metallic structural frame for the new terminal. This mandate included the quality control of materials, as well as the clearance and supervision of all the processes of surface preparation (cleaning, sandblasting) and conditions of application (temperature, humidity) procedures of the protective paint coating of the structure. Testing conducted in the manufacturing plant allowed for quality control of the anti-corrosion protection.

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Oxley Highway to Kempsey (OHK) Geotechnical Alliance

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Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and GHD formed the OHK Geotechnical Alliance in 2011 in order to undertake the concept stage geotechnical investigation, interpretation and assessment of design options for the 37 km long Oxley Highway to Kempsey section (Port Macquarie to South Kempsey) of the Pacific Highway Upgrade Program.

This project was the first Geotechnical Alliance with RMS and the largest geotechnical investigation ever undertaken by both RMS and GHD.

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Perth to Bunbury Highway

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The Southern Gateway Alliance (SGA), comprising GHD, Leighton Contractors and WA Limestone in partnership with Main Roads Western Australia, was awarded the contract to build the AUD511 million new Perth to Bunbury Highway in 2006.

The Perth to Bunbury Highway project will increase the efficiency of the north-south road network and improve regional transport through a high standard road link between Perth and the south west.

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Printing Press Building for Hobart Mercury

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The new AUD $9 million high-speed facillity, located in the Hobart Technopark, was designed by GHD, which provided the architectural detailing, structural and geotechnical engineering, all building services engineering, planning, environmental and traffic assessments. The EGO Group and Cardno Low and Hooke also contributed to the design.

Most notably, the new equipment allows the Hobart Mercury to output its own colour printing for the first time, avoiding the current need to fly in colour work overnight from Melbourne.

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Redondo Peninsula Energy Geohazard Study

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GHD was commissioned by RP Energy to undertake a detailed natural terrain hazard assessment of its proposed 600 MW coal fired power station site near Subic Bay. This project involved unmanned aerial vehicle imagery procurement and mapping, GIS analysis, detailed geomorphological and hazard mapping, definition of failure mechanisms for a major cut slope failure and above slope landslides and rock/boulder falls, and detailing/designing of practical related remedial works.

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Riverina Freight and Logistics Hub

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GHD was engaged by Wagga Wagga City Council to carry out geotechnical investigations for a proposed freight and logistics hub at Bomen Business Park.

The objective of the preliminary geotechnical works was to provide information on subsurface conditions across the site. Given the significant volume of earthworks proposed, the presence or absence of competent rock at the site was a key issue that required identification.

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South Road Superway

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The Urban Superway Joint Venture invited GHD to join them as the designer for the construction of the South Road Superway in South Australia.

A significant challenge of this project was the narrow corridor within which the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) of South Australia planned to deliver a new managed motorway standard elevated roadway with up to four lanes in each direction, over an existing arterial road with two lanes in each direction and almost no new land acquisition.

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Synlait Blending and Canning Plant

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Synlait owns and operates one of the main dairy plants in Canterbury, New Zealand. A recent boom in the dairy industry has seen large dairy companies expand their facilities to keep pace. As a result, smaller companies such as Synlait have had to follow suit, in a bid to remain competitive.

Apollo engaged GHD to assist with the Design and Construct of a new baby formula blending and canning plant. The objective was to deliver a solution focused on the need for the Chinese clients to regularly view the plant, meet and exceed hygiene specifications, and safeguard food security and traceability whilst taking into account the latest technology and robotic design.

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Travelling Stacker No. 4 (TS4) Relocation to Overburden Dump within the Mine Pit

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AGL Loy Yang required the relocation of travelling stacker no. 4 (TS4) into the mine pit and engaged GHD to provide geotechnical support.

TS4 is a 2100 tonne machine used to dump waste overburden, coal and inter-seam material from coal winning operations. TS4 was required to travel approximately 15 km from the grass-level overburden dump and into the brown coal mine pit to commence the internal overburden dump.

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Two Decades of Durability in Docklands

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GHD has been providing durability design and assurance services for Melbourne Docklands public area promenades for more than two decades.

All Docklands developments must ensure uninterrupted public access to the river and dock areas and so all developers are required to provide wide promenades in front of the buildings. As ultimate owner of the promenades, City of Melbourne has required a formal durability planning process for all promenade structures to comply with its maritime structures design standard. The key requirement is for minimal maintenance for the first 25 years of service, and to then achieve a 50 year service life with planned maintenance.

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Geology
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Mining & Metals Sector
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Sam Mackenzie

Sam Mackenzie

Sam is the Service Line Leader for Geotechnical Engineering.

Service Line Leader, Geotechnical Engineering – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T: +61 2 9479 9983
E: Sam Mackenzie

Australia

Kim Chan

Kim Chan

With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, Kim is highly regarded for his ability to solve challenging geotechnical problems using practical and theoretically sound solutions. He has worked on all facets of geotechnical engineering and specialises in soft soil engineering, sophisticated numerical modelling of complex soil structure interaction, ground improvement techniques, reinforced soil structure design, deep and shallow foundation systems, field and laboratory testing and hydrogeological studies and interpretation.

Senior Principal Engineer
T: +61 2 9462 4843
E: Kim Chan

New Zealand

Geoffrey Farquhar

Geoffrey Farquhar

Geoffrey has 37 years of engineering experience (four years of civil and structural experience in New Zealand followed by 33 years of geotechnical engineering experience in New Zealand, UK, USA, Southeast Asia and the Pacific). Geoffrey’s skills include geotechnical investigations, assessments and designs for infrastructure projects (dams, roads, power stations, power transmission lines, hydropower schemes, landfills), industrial and commercial facilities, buildings (residential, commercial, industrial, public) and land development. He is also experienced in geotechnical risk and dam safety.

Principal Engineer – Dams and Geotechnical
T: +64 9 370 8252
E: Geoffrey Farquhar