Defining Geotechnical Test and Performance Data for Asset Management and Accelerated Design Benefits
Geotechnical design, construction
and performance monitoring are intimately tied to the collection,
interpretation and delivery of geotechnical data. Unfortunately, data is often provided in an
informational format that limits operational efficiencies and its future
usefulness. Examples of “informational” include
reports in PDF or Excel, etc. formats that cannot be readily transferred or
applied for new interpretation without manual manipulation (cut and paste). In addition, little to no metadata is
conveyed to identify the type, source and reliability of the data.
Access to historic data
saves money and time for agencies by reducing the amount of new data required. Time
and money is also saved when operational efficiencies are optimized through
automation using standardized data structure. Further, the collation of consistently
formatted and comparable data across regions will improve design efforts and establish
performance expectations, practical measures and aid overall asset management.
Clear definition of data
structures for transfer and storage is necessary for consistent, complete data independent
The research will develop
industry consensus to expand the data dictionary for soil mechanics, structure
installation, ground improvement, instrumentation, and potentially performance
data sets based on industry needs. Further, this effort will ensure data
structures are consistent with existing standards including ASTM, AASHTO
testing procedures. Engaging industry interest groups will further ensure a
complete and robust object structure for the benefit of transportation
assets. The extent of the dictionary
test features will be dependent on resources available but may include
additional items described in the tasks.
Availability of usable data
is critical to our ability to make future interpretations, manage existing
features or assets, and accelerate future project delivery. Efficient collection,
transfer, storage and retrieval of data for design, construction and asset
management will save substantial time and money.
In 2006, a consortium of
organizations, including Ohio DOT and FHWA, initiated the Data Interchange for
Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (DIGGS) standardized schema,
which was later revised as DIGGS V2.0 through Ohio DOT funding and in coordination
with the Geo-Institute of ASCE. With these efforts complete, the Geo-Institute
of ASCE now begins to administer an open-source data structure ready for
practice. Currently, geotechnical and geologic
test elements have been defined. As a
result of limited resources, elements such as geoenvironmental, foundation
installation and load testing have been provisionally removed from this system
to expedite proof of function.
Completion of the existing system and defining elements for subsequent
development of the system to meet the needs of transportation agencies will
require this funded effort.
Soil Properties: Density, moisture content and gradation to
shear strength, unsaturated behavior, cyclic performance, compressibility, etc. There are approximately 45 tests included in
the DIGGS Schema that require final vetting.
Structure Installation: Pile, drilled shaft installation, shallow
foundation construction, grouting and ground improvement beneath structures and
embankments, wall construction. Recent
work on large diameter pipe piles, DTFH61-14-C-00036, reviewed and update the
schema for pile load tests and demonstrates the value of data compilation and
would serve as a baseline for this effort related to deep foundation load
Performance: Long term management of
assets will be dictated by their performance indicators. There is ongoing research to define key
metrics of performance. As these
indicators are defined (by others), they will be incorporated into the same
data structure so that inter related evaluation of an asset can consider the
full lifecycle of the structure and its components.
The deliverable for this
work would be the online data dictionary.
Although the goal will be to have a robust dictionary defined, the open
source system would allow future expansion if required.
requires the data standardized structure to be used as standard practice, and
can be achieved through requirements within guidance manuals and standards
developed by FHWA and AASHTO, respectively.
Maintenance and updating these data structures as required would be
managed by the Geo-Institute of ASCE and vetted as needed by AASHTO
subcommittees for adoption.
Without clear definition of data structure needs, ongoing and future geotechnical and asset management research may produce incomplete data sets and require repeated effort on subsequent projects or be of limited value to DOTs.
This study is supported and relevant to
• Minnesota DOT
• Ohio DOT
• Missouri DOT
• Louisiana DOTD
• Louisiana Transportation Research Center
• North Carolina DOT
• New Hampshire DOT
• Colorado DOT
|Sponsoring Committee:||AKG20, Soil and Rock Properties and Site Characterization
|Research Period:||24 - 36 months|
|RNS Developer:||Mr. Christopher Merklin, Mr. Bradley Keelor, and Mr. Allen Cadden|
|Index Terms:||Asset management, Data storage, Data collection, Geotechnical engineering, Performance measurement, Monitoring, Design, |
|Cosponsoring Committees:||AKG10, Engineering Geology; AKG70, Foundations of Bridges and Other Structures|
Data and Information Technology
Bridges and other structures