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:

Kim Chan
Service Line Leader, Geotechnical - Australia/New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East
T: +61 2 9462 4843
E: Kim Chan

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

50 MW Biliran Geothermal Power Plant, ORKA Energy

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GHD acted as Owner’s Engineer for the Biliran Geothermal Power Plant jointly owned by FEDCO and ORKA Energy. Our scope of works included the design of the access roads and pads, temporary basecamp, domestic water supply, electrical supply and vehicle equipment stockyard, and rehabilitation works for the airstrip and jetty. GHD also managed the geotechnical investigations for geohazard assessments, slope stability assessments, and LiDAR surveys. In addition, the team carried out environmental audits and sought tree cutting permits.

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Ambuklao Dam Geotechnical Investigations, SN Aboitiz

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GHD has undertaken a number of consulting services for SN Aboitiz (SNAP), including environmental studies, hydrological studies and structural assessments.

GHD also conducted geotechnical investigations to support SNAP’s intended plans to rehabilitate the structures of Ambuklao Dam.

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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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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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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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Enlarged Cotter Dam, Australia

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A prolonged drought during the late 1990s and early 2000s tested the security of the ACT water supply. In response to this a number of options to increase the reliability of the system during extreme droughts were considered.

GHD was engaged in 2004-2005 to undertake a study to investigate options for the augmentation of the ACT water supply. This initially included the consideration of three potential dam sites and associated pipelines, pumping stations and water treatment plants. The scope was subsequently widened to consider options involving the transfer of water from the Murrumbidgee River to the catchment of the existing Googong Dam. 

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Epping to Chatswood Rail Line (ECRL)

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As the precursor to the North West Rail Link (currently under construction), the Epping to Chatswood Rail Line was one of the most significant rail infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the Sydney Metropolitan Network.

The rail link connected Epping to Chatswood, providing an alternative route for train services from Sydney’s outer west and Central Coast to the CBD. The link was crucial to the further development of the rail network into Sydney’s north- western sector.

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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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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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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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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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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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Sound Transit D755 Link Light Rail

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RoseWater GHD prepared utility, drainage and temporary erosion/sediment control designs for the five-mile long D755 segment of Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail project in Tukwila, Washington.

Services were provided for the construction bid documents and included drawings, specifications, Drainage Design Report, Utility Design Report, and quantity estimate. The project included aerial and at-grade sections of guideway, street improvements and parking lot redevelopment for a new station.

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Wynyard Walk pedestrian tunnel tender design, Sydney

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Wynyard Walk is a pedestrian walkway in the Sydney CBD linking Wynyard Station and the multi-billion dollar Barangaroo waterfront development. The project comprises a pedestrian tunnel (110 meters in length), a multilevel entrance building, underpinning of two large buildings, a pedestrian bridge across Sussex Street and a new public plaza at the corner of Kent and Napoleon Street. GHD was Technical Advisor to Transport for NSW, providing technical review and support across all engineering disciplines for the design and construction phases of the project, including: geotechnical, tunnelling, demolition, structure, building and tunnel services, fire engineering, noise and vibration, and project management, including support for commercial negotiations, as well as Building Code of Australia (BCA) and disability access advice.

The 9 m wide tunnel (initially valued at AUD284M) is at shallow cover within the Triassic Hawkesbury Sandstone. Complex interactions with existing high-rise tower foundations and congested overlying services corridors were a critical aspect of the project.

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Kim Chan

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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.

Service Line Leader, Geotechnical Engineering
T:
+61 2 9462 4843

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Geoffrey Farquhar

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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 – New Zealand
T:
+64 9 370 8252

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