Geo-Professional Engineering Services
Geo-Professional Engineering is the application of the sciences of soil and rock mechanics, engineering geology and other related disciplines to civil engineering design and construction, and to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
Underhill is a Virginia SWaM-certified Micro Business. Our services include geotechnical engineering, dam engineering, geothermal energy solutions, and geoconstruction services.
Underhill assists clients reduce risks related to the underground; helping our clients meet schedule, budget, and performance goals through a collaborative approach.
Our clients include Municipalities, Contractors, Owners, Developers, and AE Firms. Underhill's experience includes foundations, tunnels, transportation, water resource, water and wastewater distribution and treatment, housing, industrial, and commercial projects. We undertake projects of all sizes.
Shallow Rock, Groundwater Seepage, Sinkholes, Buried Debris, Expansive or Compressible Clays. These are the conditions that keep Owners and the Design Team up at night, worrying whether any of these might be encountered during development, impacting schedule and/or budget. This is where Underhill can help.
Before any test boring is drilled, Underhill works with you to develop the optimum scope to evaluate your site. This includes a thorough review of the geology to assist in the subsurface exploration program - typically borings or test pits, sometimes combined with geophysical techniques. Field tests are complemented with laboratory tests, the data analyzed, and design recommendations presented.
With this approach, Underhill provides the following benefits:
- Clearly-Presented Results. Cost impacts are identified so that quantity estimates can be determined for appropriate budgets during the project planning.
- The Design Best-Suited for the Field Conditions. An emphasis on constructability to meet the project budget and schedule demands.
- Innovative Techniques Built on 30+ Years Experience. Developing foundation, retaining wall, and other earth systems that are not only efficient but provide long-term performance.
- Sustainable Solutions. Using recyclable materials and addressing low-impact development requirements provide the assistance needed to minimize site impacts.
With fluctuations in fuel costs, ground-source heat pumps offer an attractive solution for heating and cooling. With their increased efficiency, these systems provide lower energy consumption than conventional systems, providing means for owners to meet their long-term energy needs.
Knowing the geology and the thermal properties in the ground are key factors when considering ground-source heat pump systems. Underhill’s team tests the earth’s undisturbed temperature, thermal conductivity, and thermal diffusivity, allowing the heat pump design’s efficiency to be maximized. This is especially important for larger projects where an excessive number of geothermal wells can be costly. Specifically, Underhill’s Geothermal Services offer the following benefits:
- Reduced Risks. Underhill's up-front review of the geologic conditions provides valuable insight to the project planning, help our clients reduce risks by avoiding problematic areas such as those prone to sinkholes. This is of particular value during the preliminary project planning to assist in determining whether geothermal is right for the project.
- Optimized Performance. Underhill's geologic review and site reconnaissance complement our testing program to identify more efficient location on site for the well field, particularly valuable on larger sites.
- Optimized Installation. Test holes are installed with the ability to be incorporated into the final well field. This is valuable not only for the project planning but in particular for design-build projects, where construction sequencing is of paramount importance.
- A Value-Oriented Project. With the site conditions and thermal properties characterized up front, the owner can attain more competitive prices from contractors submitting on geothermal projects.
Contractors in today’s economy need to be competitive to be successful. Underhill understands this and provides GeoConstruction services to help contractors reduce quantities for a competitive edge. Some examples of these GeoConstruction services include:
- Sustainable Projects. Maximizing the re-use of on-site soils and rock, reliance on imports can be reduced, resulting in lower costs.
- Reduction of the Waste Stream. Using recycled materials such as glass, concrete, rubber, etc. for re-use in construction lowers export costs.
- Maximizing Development Footprints. Earth retaining designs such as reinforced walls and slopes, and specialized tieback and soil nail systems optimize the site development area.
- On-Track Projects. Development of site mitigation techniques such as groundwater control and stabilization of subgrades helps keep the project on track, especially important for meeting operational goals.
- Cost-Effective Rehabilitation. Designing high capacity foundations, which require less space and materials, often allows existing structures to remain intact, of particular value for remodeling and rehabilitation projects.
Underhill provides these GeoConstruction services through our service agreements with contractors and developers, where Underhill is engaged on individual projects through task orders. Our clients value this approach since it allows for prompt service, especially valuable for projects requiring emergency responses.