Frequently asked questions about our services.
Q: How much will a survey cost?
A: It depends completely on the scope of your project and the nature of your target! Whether you are investigating your back garden before putting up an extension, or planning the ground investigation of a city-wide infrastructure project and worried about sink-holes, we will take the same amount of care and attention designing your survey and ensuring you pay no more than you need to to get the results you require. A staged project may be appropriate, where each phase is commissioned only after assessment of the results of the previous phase, so you don’t need to worry about paying for work that you don’t need. We can also advise on suitable contractors for a job so that you can engage them directly under our supervision, and manage their costs yourself.
For jobs upon which we engage contractors for you ourselves, our prices start at about £5,000 and cover our fees and disbursements, including: survey design and specification, identification and engagement of a suitable contractor for data acquisition, our on-site supervision, QC, off-site processing, analysis, interpretation and reporting. Consultancy-only rates can be provided on request. VAT will be added to all prices at the applicable rate.
Don’t forget – investing in a thorough and complete ground investigation at the start of your project could save many times the cost of that investigation in over-engineering, responding to unforeseen ground conditions and overrunning project deadlines futher down the line. A thorough site investigation will play a key role in your project risk reduction measures.
Q: Can I just get some advice? I don’t need a quote right now/I don’t want to pay for a quote.
A: All basic advice and quotes are FREE. We are always happy to discuss options, whether you need a full quote, a ballpark cost for inclusion in a tender or just need to find out whether geophysical surveying is appropriate for your site. If your site is more complicated and you require us to prepare a specification, this will be subject to a charge, but we guarantee that we will never undertake chargeable work without clearing it with you first.
Q: I am familiar with [technique]/it worked well on another site – can I use it on this site?
A: If you already have an idea of what geophysical technique might be appropriate for your site, let us know. We keep up to date on all developments in geophysical site investigations and may be able to suggest new, alternative and/or complementary techniques. Many techniques that you may be familiar with, such as Ground Penetrating Radar, are very effective in the right conditions, but almost completely useless elsewhere. We will always recommend the most appropriate techniques and survey design for your site and problem. We will make sure that you are happy with the techniques proposed before submitting a proposal, so the final descision is up to you.
Q: How can I integrate the results into my project?
A: We strongly believe that all our projects should be led by what you need, not what we can provide. If you need your results in a specific format for integration into your own software, just let us know! We can supply paper and pdf maps, 2D and 3D CAD and/or ESRI ArcGIS files, data archives on disk or hard drive, and can set up a dedicated, password-protected ftp folder for you on our own server to facilitate transfer of data and reports. We can also provide advice on the integration of geophysical and geotechnical data within a GIS framework.
Q: My site is abroad – do you work overseas?
A: We are an international consultancy, and our personnel have worked everywhere from Wales to the Antarctic! We can advise you about appropriate U.K. based contractors, or help you select from local contractors by undertaking a review of available contractors and/or carrying out tender reviews. Our experienced project managers are able to manage your geophysical survey remotely or in-country as you require.
Q: Why do you use contractors instead of doing the site work yourselves?
A: Unlike other geophysical service providers, we are totally independent of any geophysical contractors. Approaching a contractor directly may result in you getting a survey that is tailored to their in-house skills and equipment, rather than to your site and survey target. We design a survey to meet your needs, then identify contractors who are specialists in the techniques required. We then select one or more contractors from this shortlist through a competitive tender process, ensuring that you get the best service and do not pay over the odds for it. We can employ contractors ourselves, or recommend appropriate contractors for you to engage directly under our supervision.
Q: Why should I use RIL? I have heard that consultants are expensive!
A: As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for! Using RIL guarantees you a range of benefits:
- Independent survey design: we are not beholden to any contractor.
- Independent supervision of the geophysical contractor’s work to ensure the highest data quality.
- Availability of high-level technical expertise not usually available through contractors.
- Increased level of analysis not usually afforded by contractors – typically less than 15-20% of a contractor’s costs are attributable to interpretative reporting.
- Consideration of the use of the data by the Client or his engineers and presentation of information in the most suitable digital formats.
- Increased peace of mind for the client by having the survey managed by extremely experienced staff including a Chartered Geologist.
- By engaging RIL as the Client’s Engineering Geophysical Adviser, the latest guidelines for engineering geophysical surveys (McDowell et al., 2002) are being followed.
- The survey workflow from data acquisition through to interpretative report will be technically robust and the interpretative report will be in plain English with clear descriptions of the work undertaken and how the interpretations have been arrived at. Our report will be written to facilitate peer review, which we welcome.
- Our final invoice will not be issued until the client is completely satisfied with the final report – this is guaranteed.
Q: I have another question that you have not answered!