The Geotechnical Report was one of the reports that I was very nervous about. We hired Holt Engineering to carry out the work, and they definitely provided us with a quick turn-around.
Basically what these guys do are setup a giant pile-driver in select locations on the subject tract (namely where the building will be), and bore into the ground. Depending on what they find, theyll go anywhere from 10-30 feet down. It might not sound like a big deal, but they collect this tube of soil (its length is equal to the depth they bore) and then they analyze it in a lab.
Basically theyre looking to see what kind of material the ground is comprised of. Because this property is situated in east Austin, there was a fear that it might be softer clay instead of solid bedrock. Thankfully that was not at all the case and as it turns out, Axel has a very solid and shallow bedrock formation below it.
This is FANTASTIC news because the ground composition could significantly impact the cost of the foundation. The softer the ground is, the more money that has to be invested into the foundation to keep it from shifting. Not only that, but because the warehouse will have the weight spread out with steel beams, a softer ground would mean that deep pilings could be necessary at all major load points. These two factors alone could change the foundation costs from say $4.00 / sq ft to $10.00+ / sq ft. Thats a pretty significant price difference when youre talking about having a foundation of 5,000 sq ft.
Included below are the soil reports we were provided.