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Services

Geotechnics

Our expertise in the structure and behaviour of ground conditions helps us to find solutions for our clients in built and natural environments. 

Our expertise in the structure and behaviour of ground conditions helps us to find solutions for our clients in built and natural environments. 

As an acknowledged leader in geotechnics, Arup is often asked to push the essential skill and science of designing and building structures in the ground. Wherever difficult ground conditions, sensitive environments or ambitious projects present geotechnical challenges, we provide robust and advanced solutions.

Our geotechnical expertise underpins Arup’s work on projects from building design to infrastructure for water, energy, mining, rail, highways and aviation. To the full range of geotechnical needs, we bring interconnected ground engineering skills, which are complemented by our expertise in hydrogeology, seismic design, geology and risk management, plus many other specialised services.

Meeting complex challenges

Arup supports its geotechnical experts to innovate by investing in research and rigorous ongoing training and development. We continuously take on ambitious projects to stay at the forefront of our field.

For the design of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, a major science facility 7,400ft below ground in South Dakota, USA, we tackled the demands of extreme rock depths and pressures.

On building developments, our sophisticated modelling techniques help define the best approach to foundation design and prove unique projects are possible, as was the case with London hotel Claridge's basement extension.

Preventing construction pitfalls

By providing a sound basis of geotechnical analysis, we save clients time and money by identifying the best planning, design, construction and maintenance choices from the outset.

Elizabeth line

Our extensive impact and settlement analysis for the Elizabeth line meant 42km of tunnels were safely built under central London despite the congested subterranean environment. 


Our geotechnical investigations at Blaydin Point, Australia, are guiding major investment decisions about the siting of onshore facilities for oil and gas operations. Our expertise reduces risk where consequences are high – such as in large cavern spaces beneath New York on Second Avenue Subway. On building developments worldwide our sophisticated modelling techniques help define the best approach to foundations – cutting out costly changes and mistakes – such as in the tight basement envelope beneath Central St Giles in London.

Clients, contractors and insurers also turn to Arup for expert geotechnical expert advice when things do not go according to plan.

Reshaping our cities

Urban populations are mushrooming around the globe, putting increasing pressures on our environment and on space for housing, commerce and leisure. Our understanding of ground conditions is helping clients reconsider the way they use space.

Our Enhanced Use of Underground Space Study is a key element in the Hong Kong government’s drive to promote cavern development to release precious above-ground space for the overall benefit of the community.

Elsewhere, we are putting high-level thinking into practice with projects such as Xiamen Xiang’an Tunnel, the first subsea tunnel in mainland China. Our work, including a ground improvement design and studies of tunnel stability and deformation, helped ensure the success of the dual three-lane road tunnel, which cuts road travel time between Xiamen Island and Xiang'an District from 90 to nine minutes.