What We Do
“Earthen fill construction is the only area of construction conducted by assumptions, trial & error exercises, and inadvertent compromise”
ESOL solves the historic performance vs. production problems in earthwork construction. ESOL solves the primary source of the majority of the historic ground movement problems in infrastructure. These ground movement problems drive the performance and maintenance warranties in construction contracts, and the heavily litigated earth movement exclusions in CGL (commercial general liability) policies carried by construction contractors. ESOL also fills a critical gap in the use of “smart compactors.”
ESOL operates as a specialty geo-civil consultant, providing the controls that the industry and all parties need for the earthen fill elements of infrastructure. ESOL fills a historical gap between the geotechnical engineers and design engineers in the industry. Historically, geotechnical engineers determine or assume how strong fills need to be, and then provide design engineers with process control assumptions that, in reality, do not achieve design requirements in construction. Other design requirements not achieved include permeability requirements, strength stability, and shrink-swell control. These assumptions also cause process control problems during construction, which impedes production. ESOL fills this gap without changing industry compaction standards or affecting geotechnical testing services. ESOL provides total solution of the compaction control problems that plague the industry.
- ESOL directly serves owners, regulatory agencies, design firms, environmental firms, architects, contractors, design-build firms, geotechnical firms, concessionaires, construction managers, insurance companies, and the construction litigation bar.
- ESOL indirectly serves all compactor manufacturers and fills a critical gap in the “smart compactor” industry.
ESOL provides the controls engineers and contractors need to control the design and construction of earthen fills founding our infrastructure, and solve major problems before, during and after construction. These controls eliminate the traditional assumptions and trial & error exercises that engineers and contractors deal with every day on all lifts of all fills. By correcting the everyday assumptions and eliminating the everyday trial & error, fills are constructed more efficiently and without the inadvertent engineering compromise and deficient results that plague our infrastructure, and cause a vicious cycle controlling the construction industry.
ESOL's services provide unprecedented controls and a total solution to the specific and varied needs and objectives of all project parties. ESOL serves all process control methods used today. ESOL does not change compaction standards or process control methods. Instead, ESOL achieves the compaction standards otherwise not met, and makes all process control methods functional and productive. All controls and solutions provided by ESOL are verified by direct-data proof with real-time control.
ESOL's services correct the greatest problems in infrastructure. Founding earthen fills are the only element of infrastructure design and construction that is conducted by assumptions, trial & error exercises, no real-time control, and no direct data verification. These conditions yield deficient subgrade fills unrealized in the industry. The central problem with that is, fills are foundations of our infrastructure, and infrastructure is expensive. These deficiencies include 1) deficient construction, 2) excessive construction costs, 3) deficient service life, and 4) excessive maintenance & repair costs:
- Deficient Construction - The greatest problem in infrastructure is differential foundation movements occurring from strength loss, settlements and shrink-swell problems from moisture change primarily in the fill elements of our foundations. These problems are the primary cause of US property damages now amounting to $19 billion annually and escalating by $0.35 billion each year. Most of this damage comes from the fill elements of our foundations more than from natural subsurface soils, because underlying in-situ soil conditions are conservatively managed in design, and fills are a common remedial component of this management. (See “The Most Critical Components of Ground Risk.”) These conditions result because the specified compaction standards are not achieved in construction as engineers traditionally assume. ESOL provides the controls needed to prevent these problems, with real-time control and verification. Without ESOL's controls, these foundational problems will continue to occur and escalate.
- Excessive Construction Costs - The traditional assumptions made in all process control methods force trial & error exercises and inadvertent engineering compromise during fill construction. Trial & error exercises include reference lab “curve shopping”, field “data shopping”, new reference curves, false compaction moistures, lift reworks, etc. These trial & error exercises are required because traditional control references conflict with actual compactor performances. This condition forces compactor operators to try to perform differently than the compactor does - a mechanical impossibility. All of these trial & error exercises cost time and money, and cause adverse compaction. ESOL provides the controls needed to avoid costly trial & error and maximize production. ESOL serves all process control methods without change.
- Deficient Service Life/Excessive Maintenance & Repair Costs - Our pavements and foundations are plagued by differential movement caused by saturation settlements and shrink/swell conditions during moisture changes. These conditions usually start developing about 2-5 years after construction. These conditions lead to eccentric loading on structures, structural damage, uneven and failing pavements. These conditions are progressive and can limit service life greatly and often require excessive maintenance and repair early on. ESOL provides the controls needed to minimize or eliminate these conditions, maximize service life, and minimize maintenance needs.
Because of these deficiencies, the earthworks in construction is what generally dictates construction contracts, construction warranties, maintenance warranties, insurance coverage exclusions and premiums, and construction liability separations on projects.
ESOL provides unprecedented controls and total solutions to all project parties and stakeholders. The greatest interest of all industry entities is control. All parties want full control of their specific business interests, needs and responsibilities - on every project. We give the following controls to all entities - before, during and after construction:
- Engineers, agencies and contractors get the following knowledge and control -- during design and before construction:
- Constructed fill properties and compaction performance
- Safety factors of all fill strength & stability requirements
- The process controls needed to ensure the required construction with real-time control and direct-data verification during construction
- The minimum or equivalent compactor sizes/types for required performance and best production based on:
- the known or designed soil ranges
- the known borrow moisture ranges
- The optimal production borrow sources
- Construction contractors get full control over the production and costs of all construction cycles in earthen fill operations. Contractors also get warranty protection and full as-built/defense records of best possible compaction control and construction performance. Contractors also get risk protection against common earth movement exclusions in their CGL policies. Maintenance and repair needs are also minimized or eliminated for responsible contractors and concessionaires.
- Engineers, owners and regulators get full verification of all engineering objectives, including compaction states, permeability requirements, and compacted strength and stability properties
- Owners and contractors get higher production and reduced construction costs
- Owners get maximal service life with minimized or eliminated maintenance needs
- All parties get full verification records of all performance requirements based on direct data proof from routine monitoring