Services — Ground Truth
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Ground Truth serves you by providing Peer Review services at all project stages from concept through to construction, and Expert Review services if a dispute arises on your project.

Peer Review

Ground Truth’s experts believe that the academic discipline of peer review, which has underpinned scientific research for more than 300 years, provides one of the most effective means of mitigating risk on large, complex underground projects.

Ground Truth’s consultants bring engaged curiosity to peer reviews. We believe that projects will benefit most from our experience if we first listen and understand the thinking and work you have completed.

With that understanding, we then put ourselves in your shoes and those of your support teams to explore questions such as:

  • What facts can we rely on for decision making?
  • What uncertainties remain?
  • What investigation and analyses will most effectively reduce uncertainty?
  • What parties are best positioned to understand and mitigate residual risks?

These are the questions we ask both of you and of ourselves, as we believe that our contributions to your project will be measured as much by the questions that we ask, as by the answers we are able to provide. We work collaboratively with you to achieve an optimum result for your project that considers project risk in the context of a quality outcome within the constraints of schedule and cost.

Expert Review

Resolution of construction disputes related to ground conditions often depends on the opinion and testimony of technical experts. Ground Truth’s experts have the experience, credibility and communication skills to provide compelling expert review, reporting and testimony.

Our process is similar to our approach to peer review:

We first seek to understand the project and issues in dispute from the perspectives of the parties involved.

Then, we identify the key technical issues that will drive resolution of the dispute, and the questions that need to be answered in order to reach a resolution.

For questions within our technical expertise, we find the answers through review of documented facts and application of engineering principles and analyses, tempered by experience and professional judgment.

We test our conclusions against ourselves first through our internal peer review process and present our findings to our clients in reports that we are confident in defending under cross examination.

Our Clients

We serve five types of clients.

Project Owners

“Building Underground? We understand what you’re going through!”

For any project, underground work increases costs and risks. Indeed, cost overruns and schedule delays arising from unanticipated ground conditions can break an otherwise successful project. It is not unusual for worries about a potential underground problem to keep you up at night.

  • Will the recommended additional subsurface investigation effectively mitigate the risk?
  • What is the value of a Geotechnical Baseline Report?
  • Is it worth getting one?
  • Can the subsurface risks not simply be transferred to the contractor?

These are all valid questions that your designers have no doubt already advised you on – but maybe they are too close to the project detail and are stretched to complete their design on time. Ground Truth assists owners through focused peer reviews that provide you with an independent and objective perspective on the major subsurface risks that your project must mitigate to be successful. We bring fresh eyes with an experienced perspective to help you and your project team mitigate your project risks.


“We have walked in your shoes.”

Combined, John and John bring more than 75 years’ experience in the consulting engineering industry to support your projects. We have lived through the pressures on profit margins, the increased demands for more work product in less time, and the efforts to transfer risk to design professionals.

Ground Truth is not another competitor for you to contend with. Rather, we bring sober second thought to your challenging underground projects and ask the questions that help to bring clarity to your design and contract documents.



“Remember: Call before you dig.”

Whether you are a general contractor or a specialist underground subcontractor, our experience can assist you in evaluating construction risks, exploring alternatives that may set you apart, and understanding the meaning between the lines (and between the boreholes!) in a geotechnical report. Having written many Geotechnical Baseline Reports, we are also able to inspect the ground you have encountered during construction and determine whether it is consistent with the interpretation provided in the geotechnical report for a project.

In the event of encountering unforeseen ground conditions or ground behaviour, we are experienced at evaluating “changed ground condition” claims, providing an expert opinion on justifiable claims, and defending our opinions with science, engineering, and facts through dispute resolution proceedings.


“Risk mitigation’s last line of defense.”

An insurance claim in construction is simply a risk that has been realized. When a claim arises from ground conditions, the central question at issue often revolves around foreseeability. This in essence is the raison d’etre for Ground Truth – we seek to help our clients foresee the truth of the ground conditions they can reasonably expect by using the clues revealed from subsurface investigation programs.

Reasonably foreseeable conditions can be planned for and associated risks mitigated, while conditions that cannot reasonably be foreseen are likewise not reasonable to mitigate. We help insurers to understand what was foreseeable at the time of design and bidding, so that they can judge the validity of claims and where events ought to have been foreseen, and assess who should carry the “reasonability to foresee and mitigate” risk.



“Definition of a Tunnel – a hole in the ground with an engineer at one end and a lawyer at the other.”

Such is the gallows humour of the tunnel and underground construction industry. Lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and judges at the end of an underground project gone wrong are all charged with sifting through the various versions of the ground truth that have created a dispute among the parties to construction.

Our job is to help you understand the ground, and how it behaves and misbehaves in response to human endeavour. Working with us, you can trust  hat you have a reliable professional opinion on which to advise and advocate for your client.

Our understanding of the ground and ground behaviour affecting your case starts with a critical review of the facts, moves to the application of theory, analysis, and judgement, and ends with a clear articulation of considered opinion that we will be prepared to defend in the crucible of courtroom cross examination – an environment where John and John have both been tested on several occasions.

Contact us to discuss your underground challenges.