Ground Improvement — It’s Time for a Standard
Ground improvement technologies have experienced tremendous growth over the past three decades, in part due to the economic advantages they can provide for construction projects. Many of these technologies are well-established and relatively mature. However, ground improvement has yet to receive the attention it deserves in current building codes and standards, and therefore design, construction, and inspection practices can vary widely. Structural and geotechnical engineers, owners, contractors, and building officials struggle to identify consistent requirements for project delivery, or even identify enforceable actions typically identified in building codes and standards. So, in the absence of appropriate standards, risk and reliability decisions (e.g., material stresses, factors of safety, and durability expectations) are left to the discretion of the system designer, while testing and inspection requirements are left to the system designer and specialty contractor.