Review of the joint meeting of the Engineering Group and the British Geotechnical Society held at Burlington House on 8 February 1983.
Dr A. B. Hawkins, Chairman of the Engineering Group, welcomed a capacity audience to the Meeting. The presentation by Mr C. J. Day of Dames and Moore entitled ‘Criteria for classifying soil and rock for planning purposes’ was concerned with the broad classification of soil and rock that would prove useful to planners in the complex process of initiating large projects. He stressed that the planning criteria themselves rather than the engineering parameters are the issues and that resolution of these issues demands a wide variety of value judgements. Each issue, it was stated, may have very wide data needs, for example twenty to thirty planning elements, only some of which would be the normal geotechnical data bases. Digital mapping and digital processing of these planning elements is an essential tool for planning. An example of the siting of a nuclear power station in the western United States based on digital mapping was given.
The speaker went on to discuss the geologist's role in the planning study, giving as an example planning the use of underground space. He viewed the geologist's role as a composite one involving geomechanics, construction practice and stratigraphy. He stated that any classification should have as its domain the overall project, and should not be incompatible with any of the existing site specific geomechanical classifications. Using construction techniques as a basis of classification four