Geotechnical and Environmental

Smith-Emery Laboratories has established itself as an industry leader in geotechnical and environmental services; serving customers with diverse needs such as financial institutions, chemical plants, refineries, environmental consultants, real estate brokers, contractors, public agencies, municipalities, developers, and the construction industry in its entirety. Smith-Emery Laboratories qualified staff of geotechnical and environmental engineers and geologists understands each client's unique needs and work efficiently to plan and execute projects ranging in complexity from straightforward inquiries to complex investigations requiring detailed analysis.

Geotechnical / Geologic Investigations
Our geotechnical engineers and geologists are experienced in planning and executing subsurface soil and geologic investigations that are in compliance with building code requirements and tailored to meet the specific needs of a project. We perform geotechnical / geologic investigations and provide foundation recommendations for sites having geologic conditions ranging from clayey soil to hard bedrock, and in topographic conditions ranging from flat sites to hillside developments for many types of projects including multi-story buildings, airports, refineries, and residential.

Geologic and Seismic Hazard Studies
We have conducted many studies providing evaluations of geologic hazards including but not limited to, liquefaction, landsliding, flooding, sinkholes, mud flows, site drainage, and seismic issues. One particularly interesting study involved a detailed analysis of faults and landslides in a Fault-Rupture Hazard Zone, which required trenching across the site to locate or verify the absence of active fault traces and slide planes We have extensive experience in meeting California state and local requirements for geologic evaluations. All geologic investigations and reports are supervised and signed by an engineering geologist registered in the State of California.

Geotechnical Engineering Services
Smith-Emery Laboratories engineers are knowledgeable in the foundation design of a wide variety of structures ranging from residential to high-rise buildings and have substantial experience in investigating a wide range of forensic foundation problems including heaving, cracking, subsidence, and foundation failure.

    Geotechnical engineering services include:
  • Foundation and Landslide Studies
  • Settlement Analysis
  • Deep Foundation Design
  • Concrete batch plant inspection
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Pavement Design
  • Forensic Studies
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Soil Mechanics
  • Hydrology/Hydrogeology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Geologic, Fault Hazard & Seismic Studies
  • Curtain wall and waterproofing inspection and testing
  • Slope Stability Analysis
  • Physical & Chemical Testing of Soils
  • Soils Laboratory
  • Aggregate Laboratory
  • Hot Mix Asphalt Laboratory
  • Earthwork Observation & Testing
  • Pile Driving Inspection
  • Auger Cast Pile Inspection
  • Drilled Pier Inspection
  • Hot Mix Asphalt Paving Inspection and Testing

Earthwork Observation and Testing
Field supervisors at each of Smith-Emery Laboratories offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anaheim dispatch trained technicians daily to job sites throughout California. Technicians are OHSHA 40 Hazardous Waste Operations certified.

    Field inspection and testing services include:
  • Mass Grading Inspection and Testing
  • Backfill Inspection
  • Footing Inspections
  • Asphalt Laydown Inspection
  • Pile Driving and Caisson Inspection
  • Drilled Footing Inspections
  • Shoring Inspection
  • Inspection of Tie-Back Anchors
  • Batch Plant Inspection
  • Combination Concrete/Soils Inspection

Soil Testing Laboratories
Smith-Emery Laboratories maintains three fully-equipped soil testing laboratories at its facilities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim. All physical testing of soils and aggregates is performed in accordance with ASTM, AASHTO, or Caltrans specifications. A quality assurance program is in place that provides for regular review and update of staff skills, and a schedule of routine maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment.

    Soil, aggregate, and hot mix asphalt testing laboratory services include: Soil Testing
  • Maximum Density - Optimum Moisture Determination
  • Soil Strength Analysis
  • Atterberg Limits
  • Soil-Cement Unconfined Compressive Strength
  • Soil Particle Size Analysis
  • Soil Density / Moisture
  • Consolidation
  • Soil Expansion Potential
    Aggregate Analysis
  • R-Value
  • Abrasion
  • SE
  • Durability
  • Soundness
  • Gradation
    Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement Analysis
  • Oil Content
  • Stability
  • Aggregate brading
  • Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity
  • Air Voids
  • Core Density
  • Bulk Specific Gravity
  • Tensile Strength Ratio
  • Mix Moisture
  • Aggregate Moisture

Environmental Services
Smith-Emery Laboratories has offered the highest quality environmental services since the industry's birth in the 1970s. Our qualified staff of environmental engineers and geologists have practiced ASTM-E-1527 Phase I Environmental Assessment reports since before the new Phase I standards took effect in November 2006 If needed we assist with additional services including Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, underground storage tank removals, groundwater monitoring well installations/abandonment, site characterizations, and site remediation. We have assisted numerous businesses including financial institutions, agencies, environmental attorneys, foods & kindered products, health management facilities, developers, and real estate brokers. SESF has conducted and has extensive environmental assessment experience on various sites including shopping centers, retail malls, gas stations, automotive repair/painting shops, industrial/manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, petroleum/refinery facilities, electrical substations, commercial facilities, and landfills.

    Environmental services include:
  • Environmental Site Assessments (Limited Phase I, Phase I and Phase II)
  • Environmental Soil Tests for Disposal/Re-Use
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Groundwater Monitoring
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Remediation Consultation