Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering is an important part of our consulting engineering service. Kirk Roberts' philosophy is to ensure that a client will receive the best geotechnical advice for their project and a commitment to providing the client with an economical design.

To ensure we provide this service to clients, requires a both a good understanding of the local ground conditions and also obtaining reliable geotechnical information during the design stage of a project.

We work closely with well established geotechnical investigation companies and prepare site-specific investigation programs to ensure the correct soil information is obtained for the design of a project.

Our geotechnical service also includes preparation of geotechnical assessment reports for land subdivision consents. We also provide practical design solutions for mitigation of common geotechnical hazards associated with either steep terrain or poor ground conditions on hill sites.


"We believe geotechnical and structural engineering need to work together to ensure the most cost effective foundation designs."


  • Feasibility studies
  • Educational facilities
  • Residential, Houses, Apartments, Multi-Units developments
  • Industrial, Warehouses, Distribution Centers
  • Commercial buildings and offices
  • Earthquake strengthening and historic building restorations
  • Existing building seismic assessments, due diligence reports and structural testing
  • Multi storey apartments and high rise office buildings


Kirk Roberts Consulting Engineers Ltd provides geotechnical investigation and reporting appropriate to MBIE (Ministry of Business,Innovation and Employment) guidelines for the following technical land categories in Christchurch.


Technical Land Category “TC1” – Grey

This land is not susceptible to liquefaction ground damage due to strong earthquake motions. The level of geotechnical testing required to satisfy a building consent application consists of 3 Hand Auger Test Bores and 3 Scala Penetrometer Tests.

The Geotechnical report summarises the field test results and recommends appropriate foundations consistent with NZS 3604. “Non-specific design of light-timber framed structures”.


Technical Land Category “TC2” – Yellow

This land is susceptible to minor/moderate liquefaction settlement (less than 100mm) during strong earthquake motions. The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) require geotechnical investigation to comprise of Hand Auger Test Bores to at least 4.0m below ground level and Scala Penetrometer Tests to at least 4.0m to assess the soil profile and soil bearing strength respectively.

We provide a comprehensive geotechnical report recommending appropriate foundation options in accordance with accepted DBH guidelines and consistent with the field-test results from Hand Auger Bores and Scala Tests.

Our geotechnical report allows the client to compare costs between each foundation option (usually in discussion with their nominated builder) before deciding which foundation is suitable for their home.


Technical Land Category “TC3” – Blue

This land is susceptible to liquefaction ground damage due to strong earthquakes. Geotechnical testing to satisfy a building consent application or assessment for one’s Insurer, requires at least 2 Cone Penetrometer Tests to 10.0-15.0m depth and 2 Hand Auger Test Bores to 4.0m. CPT tests are used to provide liquefaction assessment and provide recommendations for appropriate foundations. Our Geotechnical report summaries the assessment results and provides foundation options.

If CPT tests meet refusal (no further penetration) at less than 10m depth then1 Dual Tube Borehole to 15.0m depth is required.