Managing risk and eliminating buried objects is a challenge present in every construction project. When subsurface conditions are not documented or investigated before the start of a project, a high level of risk occurs. These hidden elements can be expensive to repair, demolish or reroute and can result in the need for urgent redesign amidst the mess of construction.
Early use of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) on a construction project can considerably reduce these potential risks.
What are the various applications of GPR, its benefits, and the ways in which it can save you time and money? In this article, these questions will be answered.
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a common geophysical location technology that uses radar pulses to establish an image of what lies beneath the ground of your dig site. This allows you to detect undiscovered power lines or metal objects that are likely to get in your way prior to digging.
Awareness of where these potential threats are located before you start digging can save you time and the money required to repair or replace power lines. There are many reasons why X-ray has been replaced by GPR scanning as the underground detection method of choice. These benefits will be discussed later.
Tree root mapping: To understand the overall stability and health of a given tree, it is essential to observe its root system. Trees growing in urban areas need careful maintenance and monitoring to allow them to thrive, while minimizing risks to surrounding utilities.
Concrete scanning: GPR is primarily used to reinforce and identify steel in concrete. It can locate cables and electrical conduits, and is efficient for testing the integrity of concrete and detecting voids in a soil foundation. This technique is completely non-invasive and poses no risk to workers or structures.
River and lack profiling: Establishing the depth of water and river profiles offers useful information for the engineering design of lake bottoms, water volume calculations and river flow. GPR can also be applied to environmental monitoring, engineering work and scientific investigations.
Detection of public underground infrastructures: It is vital to locate public underground infrastructures such as conduits, cables, pipes, fiber optic lines, elements of any kind, valves, water tanks, and more.
Environment and archaeology: GPR is useful for delineating contamination or saturation levels, landfill boundaries, and for locating buried tanks. GPR can also identify unrecorded graves and cultural data on maps.
Evaluation and testing is always preferable without costly and harmful destructive testing. Even when costly destructive testing or coring is required, targeting it where it is most effective saves time and money.
GPR provides accurate imagery and, with its ability to analyze slices at different depths, it provides the depth and orientation of buried objects. Dual-technology systems, which combine ground-penetrating radar with power line detection systems, go even further and indicate which conduits contain dangerous power lines.
Service providers need to integrate seamlessly into their client’s workflow and project management, especially for large projects. In fact, they can gain a competitive advantage by offering ways to reduce the time and money spent on large project processes. For instance, real-time evaluation of scan results by off-site reviewers can reduce the time between scanning and cutting, often avoiding the need for a second site visit.
GPR sensors are small and can be used in tight spaces and in any orientation on floors, walls and ceilings. GPR is applied from the exposed surface and is able to find features in slabs on the ground. It can even identify voids in surrounding materials. Large areas can be mapped efficiently by deploying the GPR sensor on a cart or vehicle-drawn platform.
There are important regulatory, financial, and social reasons to be concerned about workplace safety, and ground-penetrating radar is the most effective technology for addressing these concerns. Not only is GPR safe for the infrastructure, it is also safe for operators and the general public. You can use GPR safely in a crowded public place without any risk to the people present.
GPR saves money in both the short-term and the long-term. One of its advantages is that it helps construction companies and planners figure out how much work is required for every project. This means they can benefit from greater accuracy in planning and more cost-effective construction bidding. Ultimately, using GPR in every construction project is more likely to increase your return on investment and the bottom line.
GPR is an important tool to have on hand during construction projects. However, the best time to use GPR for concrete scanning is before you start digging. If you identify and locate underground utilities and other hidden objects in advance, the whole project progresses more smoothly.
Knowing what lies beneath the subsurface allows you to build around these elements more easily. In certain cases, utilities might need to be moved or rerouted. Being conscious of these potential hazards helps you keep things moving.
GPR for concrete scanning is a valuable, safe and non-invasive method to collect subsurface information. The earlier this tool is used, the less costly the redesign or rework will be, and adverse scheduling consequences will be fewer. Furthermore, knowing what is buried under a subsurface can reduce safety concerns related to potential impacts to plant operations and excavation during construction.
If you would like to benefit from our services and save time and money in equal measure, don’t hesitate to contact us today!