• DFI Europe
  • DFI Trust

April 1, 2020 ITS Money: Mary Nodine, P.E.

Mary C. Nodine, P.E. | GEI Consultants, Inc.

Saving Money With Enhanced Subsurface Characterization

A geotechnical exploration with a limited scope is often performed at the start of a project to meet code requirements and keep still costs low. This presentation by the DFI Subsurface Characterization Committee illustrates how investing in and thoughtfully planning subsurface characterization programs can result in project cost savings. Use of the appropriate techniques can result in a lower-cost program that still provides the data needed for design. Investing in appropriate program can also save costs by reducing construction risk and design uncertainty.


  • Site characterization and risk are directly related.
  • Enhanced subsurface characterization can result in savings: both in direct savings (a reduced bottom line cost of a project) and indirect (by reducing the construction risk and design uncertainty).
  • Geotechnical risk management does not end when the project begins: by gathering data throughout the construction period of a project the design can be calibrated and verified.