We regret that that this company, Y-Squared Geotechncial, P.C., is no longer in business. As of June 13, 2016 we are closed.
We have loved the challenges and unique projects we have had the opportunity to work on over the last 13 years, but unfortunately we cannot afford to continue providing geotechnical engineering.
Over the last 13 years, we have seen a continued marginalization and commoditization of the geotechnical engineering industry. It is to the point that the cut-throat undercutting of pricing, the devaluing of geotechnical engineering expertise, the outright ignoring sound geotechnical recommendations leading to lawsuits, and frivolous lawsuits have made geotechnical engineers effectively uninsurable. Far too many expect at least a million dollars in insurance coverage, and will sue for any preserved defects but are unwilling to pay fair rates to the engineer. So next time you tell an engineer “but it’s just a house” remember that 99% of the claims and 95% of the payout that arise in geotechnical engineering are a result of work done “just on a house”. You should expect to see rates for residential work to increase by at least 3 to 5 times over the next few years and we in Utah will still be well below the national average on geotechnical engineering fees. It’s high time to realize that the only people who benefit from frivolous lawsuits are the lawyers, you will be lucky to get your legal fees covered. We are not talking about real geotechnical engineering problems here but rather the practice of blaming everything on the geotechnical engineer regardless of the nature of the problem, excuse me, your contractor is so shady he is in jail, but it’s still our fault?! Don’t kid yourself that you are “only going after their insurance”, even if a firm is lucky enough to still have good insurance coverage, they are going to pay through the nose in increased premiums, reduced coverage and even, as we have been, being priced out of business. You had better expect to start paying more, because firms are going to have to set aside 25% of every project just to cover their insurance costs.
Just take a minute and ask yourself, when was the last time the geotechnical engineering company was included in the project acknowledgement. I mean how many times have you see “geotechnical engineering” listed on the project board on site during construction – you see electrical, HVAC, structural, contractors, painters, plumbers,... but never a geotechnical engineer. In 13 years, we have been recognized as being part of the design team only 1 time. Sadly, geotechnical engineers are used to being unseen and unrecognized, but it’s time that changed. We are an important part of the design team and design process, if you will let us be. Remember, you will get what you pay for, a good geotechnical engineer may cost you more up front, but you will end up with more solid evaluations and better recommendations, which will save you money, typically lots of money, during construction.
Respect you geotechnical engineers people. Our best work may never be seen, but it should not be ignored.
So long. We will miss the interesting projects, but we will not miss dealing with the all the garbage.
R. Jay Yahne, P.E.
Lori S. Yahne, P.E.
Owners & Founders of Y2 Geotechnical, P.C.