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Formation: The company was established in 2006 in Cedar Park (northwest Austin suburb), Texas, under a different name, and formally as Capital Geotechnical Services PLLC in March 2012.

Principal Geotechnical Engineer: Nicholas F. Kauffman, P.E. specializes in geotechnical engineering (one of the specialties within civil engineering).  Nicholas earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering w/ honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, and his Masters of Science in Geotechnical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1997.  Nicholas obtained geotechnical engineering experience and developed expertise while working for several firms before starting his own firm and consulting practice full time in 2012.

Expertise:

  • Central Texas geology.

  • Ground-supported foundation slabs ("stiffened slabs", "waffle slabs")

  • Drilled piers (straight shaft; belled)

  • Pier-and-beam recommendations (crawl space design or slab cast on carton forms)

  • Pavement thickness design and subgrade improvement (i.e. expansive clay environments; weak fine-grained soil environments) for long term durability.

  • Expansive clay soil behavior and mitigation.

  • Pre-pour inspections for drilled piers, floor slabs, footings, foundation slabs (conventionally reinforced or post-tensioned), retaining walls, and pavement.

  • Soil-related forensic studies (house distress, commercial building distress, pavement distress, slab moisture penetration problems, retaining wall failures)

  • Slab surface elevation surveys.

  • 2D slope stability analysis.

Mr. Kauffman also has notable experience with driven steel pipe piles in expansive clay soil environments as an alternative to concrete belled piers to support a structurally supported concrete slab.

Capital Geotechnical Services PLLC maintains professional liability insurance (PLI) for residential projects (many local geotechnical firms do not, therefore be cautious) as well as general liability insurance.  Home Builders please note: Capital Geotechnical Services is an authorized Geotechnical Engineering firm for 2-10 HBW home warranty company (home warranty companies require geotechnical engineering studies for new construction of custom homes and spec homes).

Although more representative of commercial or municipal projects or large residential (MF) projects, the typical project team is similar for small residential projects (Architect, Structural Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, and the Builder and Surveyor.

TYPICAL PROJECT TEAM FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION

Geoprofessional Staff / Technicians:
- Nicholas K. (PE)
- Jarek M.
- Justin C.
- Max P.
- Jacob "Jake" L.
- Edgar A.
- Sandy C.

Certain geoprofessional staff obtain American Concrete Insitute certification for field sampling and testing of concrete.

Our Austin laboratory participates in the AASHTO Re:source soil lab testing proficiency program to assure our lab testing protocols and results are correct.

Although most consultants and contractors will work on commercial or municipal projects or MF residential, only some work on single-family residential projects (SF, additions, ADUs/guesthouses).  Here are some companies that you can retain for residential sites if you are developing a residential lot:

Land Surveyors:

B&G Surveying, Inc., Austin

Landesign Services, Inc, Round Rock

Spot On Surveying

Survey Works, Austin

Waterloo Surveyors, Inc.

Watson Surveying, Austin

Whitecap Survey Company, Dripping Springs

Windrose Land Services

For larger projects you can also consider: Chapparal Land Surveying (Austin, Temple), Byrn and Associates (San Marcos), Ash and Associates (San Marcos), ATS (land surveying department) (Austin), and 4Ward Land Surveying (Austin).

Structural Engineers:

James Bufkin, P.E.

Sam Covey, P.E.

Brad Farris, P.E.

Ben Feldt, P.E.

Andre Garner, P.E. (forensics)

Ron Koenig, P.E.

Richard Luevano, P.E.

Paul Martin, P.E.

Jeff Smith, P.E.

Civil Engineers (grading and drainge):

TCMB Engineering, LLC, Austin

Austin Civil Engineering, Inc.

Site Prep / Earthwork subcontractors:

Eleven26 Site Prep (Will M.)

PMM Construction, LLC

Fun quotes:

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

          - Benjamin Franklin