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Geotechnical Due-Diligence Desk Study (GDD)

01. Understand Your Risks

A Geotechnical Desk Study identifies and assesses geotechnical hazards that may pose a risk to existing structures or future development. Such hazards include:

  • Slope Stability of localised landscaping or bunding;
  • Legacy mining features such as mine shaft entries and adits;
  • Undermining of property, for coal or other mineral resources;
  • Shrinking and swelling of clay soils;
  • Aggressive ground conditions with the potential to chemically attack concrete; and
  • Significant groundwater variation.

The first step is to understand your site, the perceived risk and the context within which it is being assessed, i.e. redevelopment, refurbishment or continued use.

02. Assess Site Specific Information

As part of investigative works, REL would undertake a detailed historical review of the site and surrounding area to ascertain whether any pertinent geological / ground engineering features are noted. Has the site been quarried? Have site levels been raised? Have earthworks been undertaken with no clear record? Has the site been subjected to multiple phases of development? As part of this process, additional regulatory searches may be undertaken depending on the expected hazards, for example, The Coal Authority, should a coal mining hazard to the site be identified.

A visual inspection and walkover of the site will also be undertaken, surveying the existing structures, ground surface defects, ground  and surface water observations, and if necessary, visual inspection of slopes.

03. Quantify Risks

We assess the significance of geotechnical factors, taking your site-specific needs into account.

Following a review of all desk-based information and findings of the site walkover an assessment is made to:

  • Determine what risks (if any) are present;
  • Assess the geotechnical setting to determine the significance of risk (if present); and
  • Quantify within the context of the site.

04. Provide Geotechnical Advice

Conclusions are drawn and cost-effective recommendations and advice is provided, enabling you to make informed decisions.

The report will include a detailed Geotechnical Risk Register for a summarising any identified risks as LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH in line with current guidance.

Shortform reporting can be undertaken for multiple sites / portfolios, providing a RAG (Red, Amber Green) Assessment which will present quickly and efficiently the potential risks for each site in question, allowing you to make informed transactional decisions.


Performance from
the ground up

1 Croft Stairs
Newcastle Upon Tyne

55 Whitfield Street

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0191 230 4521