Although the views expressed by Andrew Milne in the article 'Time to get sexy' (NCE 22 February) tackled some key points they didn't offer a completely balanced view of site investigation.
There are many tools available to the site investigation contractor ranging from advanced testing techniques being developed in universities to the basic techniques for trial pits.
The site investigation industry continues to develop by responding to the needs of clients, incoming regulations and codes, improved business performance and research. This is an incremental change rather than a radical change.
There are many examples of innovation in the UK industry starting with the triaxial test developed in the late 1940s, the electric cones and pressure meters in the 1970s, local strain stiffness in the 1980s, application of ICT in the 1990s to sonic drilling and crosshole tomography in the past 10 years.
The industry has taken advantage of developments in instrumentation, computing, and interpretation leading to reduced construction risks due to ground conditions.
It employs many experts either directly in site investigation companies or indirectly in consultants.
So my advice is to embrace the good and the new and nd ways for it to work. It isn't all gloom and doom.
John Grainger, managing director, Soil Mechanics, Unit 4, Gainsborough Trading Estate, Leamington Road, Southam, Warwickshire CV47 1RA