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Documentary evidence

'AGS is essentially a forum for the commercial aspects for those who trade in geotechnical and geoenvironmental affairs,' says new AGS chairman Jan Hellings. Membership includes both contractors and consultants, and the majority of members are corporate. It is not a learned society, which in the UK is covered by the British Geotechnical Society, and whose members are mostly individual.

AGS' achievements include a well established range of documents on safety, software and collateral warranties. The AGS format for electronic transfer of site investigation data has become the leading document of its type in the world.

The intention is to continue to produce documents wherever there is a need from members. Next in this process will be guidelines for laboratory testing, which is about to be published.This addresses what testing is appropriate for different situations, and is aimed at younger engineers.

Also in the pipeline are guidelines for combining geotechnical and geoenvironmental investigations. Although a good geotechnical investigation technique is not necessarily a good environmental investigation tool, there is scope to combine some aspects of the work provided precautions are taken by the SI team. This approach has the potential to help achieve the Latham objective of a 30% saving in construction costs, says Hellings.

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