If you've been sitting on a very large tract of land and waiting for the right time to develop it, you may think that economic conditions are now on your side. You have a few ideas in mind and several different options to consider as you work out how to make the most money from your acquisition but shouldn't get too carried away just yet. Before you go any further, you will need to see exactly what you can and cannot do and will need to dig beneath the surface for all this information. To do this, you will need to bring in a geotechnical engineer, but you may want to know what they can really do and how much information they can provide you with.
Assessing the Potential
If you plan to build a high-rise building on part of this land, then you will need to know whether the site conditions will allow you to proceed. A geotechnical report is crucial in this case, as it will be able to give you construction and design recommendations based on what is below the surface, the soil, water and rock conditions. An engineer will then be able to interpret the data that they gather and discuss it with your other engineers, architects and builders so that you only go forward when you are fully confident about your potential success.
Understanding the Scope
You will need to find a competent and experienced engineer who can provide you with an accurate, clear and concise report ahead of time, and as they get underway, they will investigate the site and conduct a variety of different tests. For example, they will need to determine the soil profile of the subsurface, remove and test various samples (whether on site or in a lab) and understand how groundwater accumulation may affect any work. They will want to know if there is any potential for erosion, whether any of the soil has a very high potential for liquefaction (during an earthquake), if any underground mud flow might affect building work or how high the water table could get. All this information must be uncovered in advance as if not, it will undoubtedly add to the project cost during construction and could significantly delay the whole job.
If you are serious about developing your land and making as much money from your venture, then you must absolutely engage the services of a qualified geotechnical engineer before you do anything else.