Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering 2018-06-26T14:45:29+00:00

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) understands that each geotechnical engineering project is unique and requires an individualized approach.  That approach includes strict adherence to project schedules and quick response to changing needs of the client.

The professional staff of BCD is highly trained and experienced in geotechnical engineering.  BCD has a staff of 58 professional, technical and administrative personnel, including nine registered professional engineers.  Our staff also includes two engineer interns and one registered professional geologist.  The nine registered engineers have professional registrations in over ten states.  Most of BCD’s registered professional geotechnical engineers have Master’s degrees. Three members of our staff have Ph.D.’s in geotechnical engineering.  The experience of our geotechnical engineering staff ranges from about 3 to 46 years and averages over 23 years. The principals of the firm as well, as the staff engineers, are actively engaged in projects on a daily basis.

Since its founding, Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. has successfully completed a wide variety of geotechnical engineering projects for variety of clients.  Our clients include engineers, architects, industries, construction firms, developers, private individuals, local governments, and state and federal agencies.

From the smallest assignment to the largest project, Burns Cooley Dennis treats everyone with the same commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

Below is a list of some of the geotechnical engineering services Burns Cooley Dennis offers.

BCD has considerable experience installing and monitoring slope inclinometers as a tool to aid in determining the location of the failure plane within unstable slopes. Engineers at BCD are experienced in the reduction, error correction and interpretation of slope inclinometer data. BCD also installs and monitors groundwater monitoring wells, open standpipe piezometers and vibrating wire piezometers. BCD installs and monitors downhole extensometers and settlement plates to measure ground settlement and the distribution of settlement with depth through compressible soil strata.

BCD provides vibration monitoring services during construction to assist the owner and/or contractor in limiting the exposure of surrounding facilities to construction-related vibrations. BCD owns and operates the Mini-Seis III seismograph by White Industrial Seismology.

BCD performs field measurement of soil resistivity using the AEMC Instruments Model 4610 Ground Resistance Tester and using the Wenner Four Electrode Method. These measurements of soil resistivity are used for the control of corrosion of buried structures and the design of grounding systems.

BCD owns and operates two Model PAKs and one Model PAX manufactured by Pile Dynamics, Incorporated for use in collecting real-time dynamic load test data during installation of driven piles.  Go to Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) for more information.

BCD also utilizes a pile integrity tester (PIT) for evaluating drilled shaft or auger cast-in-place piling for potential defects, and utilizes the instrument for helping identify the unknown bearing depth of deep foundation elements.

BCD performs SPT hammer calibrations using an SPT rod instrumented with strain gages and accelerometers and a Model PAK. Calibrations are performed in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) procedures. Yearly calibrations are recommended by ASTM. Proper calibration compensates for widely variable efficiencies from different SPT hammer types and therefore improves the reliability of estimates obtained from the test.

Laboratory Testing
BCD realizes the important role that in-depth and accurate characterization of soil properties plays in the overall success of any project.  The firm maintains a fully equipped and staffed soils laboratory for performing strength and compressibility tests, permeability tests, classification tests and other physical property tests.

BCD maintains a well equipped and fully staffed soils laboratory for performing strength and compressibility tests, permeability tests, classification tests and other physical property tests.  The BCD soils laboratory includes 1,200 sq ft of laboratory space and 310 sq ft of climatic control sample storage space.  The soils laboratory is divided into five separate work areas:  (1) an area for consolidation, triaxial, direct shear and permeability testing; (2) an area for Atterberg limits, water contents, -200’s and other routine index tests; (3) an area for unconfined and Q triaxial compression tests; (4) an area where lab technicians perform their paperwork and engineers examine samples for test assignments and to evaluate lab test results; and (5) an area where all sieve and hydrometer tests are performed, including a sound insulated shaker room, and all undisturbed Shelby tubes are extruded.

The BCD laboratory includes six Casagrande lever arm and nine GeoJac loading devices for consolidation testing; three 2,000-lb, one 5,000-lb and one 10,000-lb load frames for compression testing; four hydraulic panels for backpressure saturation and triaxial consolidation; eight flexible wall triaxial chambers; and miscellaneous apparatuses for conducting routine classification and index tests. Automated data collection and reduction are utilized for triaxial compression, unconfined compression, direct shear and consolidation tests.  Our laboratory is staffed by 4 technicians having from 10 to 37 years experience.

The types of tests performed in our laboratory include:
– UU triaxial compression tests
– CU triaxial compression tests with pore pressure measurements
– Direct shear tests
– Consolidation and swell tests
– California Bearing Ratio tests
– Unconfined compression tests on soil
– Unconfined compression tests on rock
– Permeability tests
– Soil Suction Tests
– Standard and Modified Proctor compaction tests
– Atterberg limit tests
– Sieve analysis tests
– Hydrometer tests
– Moisture content tests
– Dry density tests
– Shrinkage limit tests
– Specific gravity tests
– Total Organic Content
– pH
– Chlorides
– Sulfates

Our laboratory facilities have been certified and inspected by the Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), AASHTO, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  BCD participates in AMRL’s soils and aggregates proficiency program, which is a national testing program that evaluates testing accuracy.  Our technicians are currently certified by MDOT, ACI, AASHTO and NICET.

Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA)
BCD owns and operates two Model PAKs and one Model PAX manufactured by Pile Dynamics, Incorporated for use in collecting real-time dynamic load test data during installation of driven piles.  We routinely provide Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) services for our clients.  Our staff can evaluate a proposed pile driving system using the computer program WEAP developed by the Federal Highway Administration and help identify potential problems or select suitable hammer/pile systems before construction begins.  The PDA and associated CAPWAP computer modeling program are utilized by our staff to assist in evaluating production pile driving capacities. Our experience includes:

  • railroad bridges
  • highway bridges
  • water tanks
  • shipyard dock walls
  • retaining walls
  • commercial buildings

Subsurface Investigation
Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. operates four drilling crews.  The operating crews are permanent employees who are trained and experienced in all phases of subsurface exploration work.  Our drill crews have considerable experience in both land based and barge drilling, various soil and rock sampling techniques, the installation of geotechnical instrumentation and the performance of field CBR, dynamic cone penetrometer tests, field vane testing and environmental drilling.  Our drilling personnel take pride in maintaining their equipment in top operating condition.  Each crew operates under the direction of an experienced geotechnical engineering technician who works closely with the project geotechnical engineer in organizing and conducting each investigation. We have personnel trained in OSHA 40-hour Hazardous materials operations.

BCD drilling equipment includes:

– SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) truck-mounted auger/rotary drill rig
– Four Failing 1500 truck-mounted rotary drill rigs
– Buggy-mounted Ardco C-1000 rotary drill rig and an Ardco “K” water buggy transported by a lowboy
– Buggy-mounted Mobile ATV B-33 auger/rotary drill rig transported by a diesel truck
– Mobile B-47 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a diesel truck
– Mobile B-31 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a diesel truck
– CME-55 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a Morooka rubber track carrier transported by a lowboy
– Support vehicles including three water trucks, two water buggies and three 4-wheel drive pickups

The compact, ruggedly built SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) is an all hydraulic, top-head drive drill rig. The SIMCO®  2800 HS(HT) can be used for auger drilling, mud rotary drilling, core drilling, and split-spoon and Shelby tube sampling procedures. The SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) is also capable of angle hole drilling.

All of our Failing 1500’s are used for deep-hole drilling and sampling on sites accessible to truck-mounted equipment.  The Mobile B-47 and B-31 rigs are typically used for shallow-hole drilling projects such as roadways, buildings, etc. on sites accessible to truck-mounted equipment.

Our Ardco C-1000 buggy-mounted rig and CME-55 track-mounted rig are used for deep-hole drilling and sampling on sites which are not accessible to most truck-mounted rigs.  Our Mobile ATV B-33 is utilized for shallow-hole drilling projects including roadway centerline profiles, sewer and water lines, etc., and is very mobile on cross-country projects.

All of our drill rigs are equipped for both undisturbed Shelby tube and split-spoon sampling. The SIMCO® 2800 and CME-55 are equipped with dedicated hydraulically driven automatic hammers for standard penetration test sampling. A portable hydraulically driven automatic hammer is available for use with the Failing 1500 drill rigs. Borings can be advanced using the mud rotary method, hollow-stem augers, short-flight augers and/or continuous-flight augers, depending on the subsurface conditions and specific requirements of the project.

Overview

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) understands that each geotechnical engineering project is unique and requires an individualized approach.  That approach includes strict adherence to project schedules and quick response to changing needs of the client.

The professional staff of BCD is highly trained and experienced in geotechnical engineering.  BCD has a staff of 58 professional, technical and administrative personnel, including nine registered professional engineers.  Our staff also includes two engineer interns and one registered professional geologist.  The nine registered engineers have professional registrations in over ten states.  Most of BCD’s registered professional geotechnical engineers have Master’s degrees. Three members of our staff have Ph.D.’s in geotechnical engineering.  The experience of our geotechnical engineering staff ranges from about 3 to 46 years and averages over 23 years. The principals of the firm, as well as the staff engineers, are actively engaged in projects on a daily basis.

Since its founding, Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. has successfully completed a wide variety of geotechnical engineering projects for variety of clients.  Our clients include engineers, architects, industries, construction firms, developers, private individuals, local governments, and state and federal agencies.

From the smallest assignment to the largest project, Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. treats everyone with the same commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

Below is a list of some of the geotechnical engineering services Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. offers.

Field Instrumentation

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) has considerable experience installing and monitoring slope inclinometers as a tool to aid in determining the location of the failure plane within unstable slopes. Engineers at BCD are experienced in the reduction, error correction and interpretation of slope inclinometer data. BCD also installs and monitors groundwater monitoring wells, open standpipe piezometers and vibrating wire piezometers. BCD installs and monitors downhole extensometers and settlement plates to measure ground settlement and the distribution of settlement with depth through compressible soil strata.

BCD provides vibration monitoring services during construction to assist the owner and/or contractor in limiting the exposure of surrounding facilities to construction-related vibrations. BCD owns and operates the Mini-Seis III seismograph by White Industrial Seismology.

BCD performs field measurement of soil resistivity using the AEMC Instruments Model 4610 Ground Resistance Tester and using the Wenner Four Electrode Method. These measurements of soil resistivity are used for the control of corrosion of buried structures and the design of grounding systems.

BCD owns and operates two Model PAKs and one Model PAX manufactured by Pile Dynamics, Incorporated for use in collecting real-time dynamic load test data during installation of driven piles.  Go to Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) for more information.

BCD also utilizes a pile integrity tester (PIT) for evaluating drilled shaft or auger cast-in-place piling for potential defects, and utilizes the instrument for helping identify the unknown bearing depth of deep foundation elements.

BCD performs SPT hammer calibrations using an SPT rod instrumented with strain gages and accelerometers and a Model PAK. Calibrations are performed in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) procedures. Yearly calibrations are recommended by ASTM. Proper calibration compensates for widely variable efficiencies from different SPT hammer types and therefore improves the reliability of estimates obtained from the test.

Laboratory Testing

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) realizes the important role that in-depth and accurate characterization of soil properties plays in the overall success of any project.  The firm maintains a fully equipped and staffed soils laboratory for performing strength and compressibility tests, permeability tests, classification tests and other physical property tests.

BCD maintains a well equipped and fully staffed soils laboratory for performing strength and compressibility tests, permeability tests, classification tests and other physical property tests.  The BCD soils laboratory includes 1,200 sq ft of laboratory space and 310 sq ft of climatic control sample storage space.  The soils laboratory is divided into five separate work areas:  (1) an area for consolidation, triaxial, direct shear and permeability testing; (2) an area for Atterberg limits, water contents, -200’s and other routine index tests; (3) an area for unconfined and Q triaxial compression tests; (4) an area where lab technicians perform their paperwork and engineers examine samples for test assignments and to evaluate lab test results; and (5) an area where all sieve and hydrometer tests are performed, including a sound insulated shaker room, and all undisturbed Shelby tubes are extruded.

The BCD laboratory includes six Casagrande lever arm and nine GeoJac loading devices for consolidation testing; three 2,000-lb, one 5,000-lb and one 10,000-lb load frames for compression testing; four hydraulic panels for backpressure saturation and triaxial consolidation; eight flexible wall triaxial chambers; and miscellaneous apparatuses for conducting routine classification and index tests. Automated data collection and reduction are utilized for triaxial compression, unconfined compression, direct shear and consolidation tests.  Our laboratory is staffed by 4 technicians having from 10 to 37 years experience.

The types of tests performed in our laboratory include:

– UU triaxial compression tests
– CU triaxial compression tests with pore pressure measurements
– Direct shear tests
– Consolidation and swell tests
– California Bearing Ratio tests
– Unconfined compression tests on soil
– Unconfined compression tests on rock
– Permeability tests
– Soil Suction Tests
– Standard and Modified Proctor compaction tests
– Atterberg limit tests
– Sieve analysis tests
– Hydrometer tests
– Moisture content tests
– Dry density tests
– Shrinkage limit tests
– Specific gravity tests
– Total Organic Content
– pH
– Chlorides
– Sulfates

Our laboratory facilities have been certified and inspected by the Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), AASHTO, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  BCD participates in AMRL’s soils and aggregates proficiency program, which is a national testing program that evaluates testing accuracy.  Our technicians are currently certified by MDOT, ACI, AASHTO and NICET.

       

Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA)

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) owns and operates two Model PAKs and one Model PAX manufactured by Pile Dynamics, Incorporated for use in collecting real-time dynamic load test data during installation of driven piles.  We routinely provide Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) services for our clients.  Our staff can evaluate a proposed pile driving system using the computer program WEAP developed by the Federal Highway Administration and help identify potential problems or select suitable hammer/pile systems before construction begins.  The PDA and associated CAPWAP computer modeling program are utilized by our staff to assist in evaluating production pile driving capacities. Our experience includes:

  • railroad bridges
  • highway bridges
  • water tanks
  • shipyard dock walls
  • retaining walls
  • commercial buildings

Subsurface Investigation

Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (BCD) operates four drilling crews. The operating crews are permanent employees who are trained and experienced in all phases of subsurface exploration work. Our drill crews have considerable experience in both land based and barge drilling, various soil and rock sampling techniques, the installation of geotechnical instrumentation and the performance of field CBR, dynamic cone penetrometer tests, field vane testing and environmental drilling. Our drilling personnel take pride in maintaining their equipment in top operating condition. Each crew operates under the direction of an experienced geotechnical engineering technician who works closely with the project geotechnical engineer in organizing and conducting each investigation. We have personnel trained in OSHA 40-hour Hazardous materials operations.

BCD drilling equipment includes:
– SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) truck-mounted auger/rotary drill rig
– Four Failing 1500 truck-mounted rotary drill rigs
– Buggy-mounted Ardco C-1000 rotary drill rig and an Ardco “K” water buggy transported by a lowboy
– Buggy-mounted Mobile ATV B-33 auger/rotary drill rig transported by a diesel truck
– Mobile B-47 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a diesel truck
– Mobile B-31 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a diesel truck
– CME-55 auger/rotary drill rig mounted on a Morooka rubber track carrier transported by a lowboy
– Support vehicles including three water trucks, two water buggies and three 4-wheel drive pickups

The compact, ruggedly built SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) is an all hydraulic, top-head drive drill rig. The SIMCO® 2800 HS(HT) can be used for auger drilling, mud rotary drilling, core drilling, and split-spoon and Shelby tube sampling procedures. The SIMCO® 2800 HS (HT) is also capable of angle hole drilling.

All of our Failing 1500s are used for deep-hole drilling and sampling on sites accessible to truck-mounted equipment. The Mobile B-47 and B-31 rigs are typically used for shallow-hole drilling projects such as roadways, buildings, etc. . ,on sites accessible to truck-mounted equipment.

Our Ardco C-1000 buggy-mounted rig and CME-55 track-mounted rig are used for deep-hole drilling and sampling on sites which are not accessible to most truck-mounted rigs. Our Mobile ATV B-33 is utilized for shallow-hole drilling projects including roadway centerline profiles, sewer and water lines, etc., and is very mobile on cross-country projects.

All of our drill rigs are equipped for both undisturbed Shelby tube and split-spoon sampling. The SIMCO® 2800 and CME-55 are equipped with dedicated hydraulically driven automatic hammers for standard penetration test sampling. A portable hydraulically driven automatic hammer is available for use with the Failing 1500 drill rigs. Borings can be advanced using the mud rotary method, hollow-stem augers, short-flight augers and/or continuous-flight augers, depending on the subsurface conditions and specific requirements of the project.