David is a qualified Geologist who graduated from Monash University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science with Honours. Widely recognised in the Victorian building industry as one of the leading geotechnical experts in the field of site and soil investigations for both residential and commercial, he is highly sought after for his investigation of distressed or cracked buildings. David is regularly consulted by other practitioners in the field to provide specific advice in more complex cases and is regularly commissioned to appear as an expert witness at Tribunal and Court hearings.
Since 1985, David has worked continuously in the building industry in Victoria; specifically in the area of soil report preparation for residential and low rise commercial-industrial type projects and in the investigation of distressed buildings. His work mainly involves site investigation, footing recommendation and report preparation in accordance with AS 2870 2011 [Residential Slabs and Footings; Construction]. The distress reports determine the cause(s) of distress and recommend the appropriate method of rectification.
For most of his career, David's primary focus has been to assess each individual building site to identify the site conditions that are likely to affect the performance of the proposed footing system. The investigations include extracting boreholes in order to identify the soil profile, enabling a site classification and footing recommendation to be determined. During these investigations assessments are made with respect to slope stability issues. David performs site visits across metropolitan Melbourne and most of Regional Victoria.
For the entire duration of his time in the building industry, David has personally carried out over 36,000 individual site investigations and reports for the purposes of site classification and footing recommendation. To this end, as a qualified Geologist, he has accumulated an extensively unique knowledge and understanding of soil conditions across Victoria.
Specialising in the cracked and/or distressed buildings, David often investigates buildings that have already experienced various forms of distress, with the intent to determine the direct cause(s) of the distress with a recommendation of appropriate remedial action. He has personally investigated in excess of 6,000 individual cases and as such, is one of the most experienced practitioners in this field. Notably, these types of investigations are invaluable in providing particular insight into the likely problem areas and allow him to monitor the performance of various types of footing systems. At present these types of investigations are one of the main ways of determining the suitability of the footing systems currently being adopted under Australia's building code.
Another of David's specialities is geotechnical assessments of slope stability and landslide risk in accordance with the requirements of The Australian Geomechanics Society Practice Note Guidelines for Landslide Risk Management . He is a certified attendee of the Australian Geomechanics Society Short Course "Field Techniques for Landslide Assessment, Melbourne 14th -16th November 2014". David has had an active role in the Foundation and Footings Society of Victoria Inc. since its inception in 1991, and is a twice-past chairman holding a position on the committee from 1992 until 2016.
He holds professional indemnity insurance. He is a a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (MAIG), a Registered Professional Geoscientist, RP Geo 10159 and also a member of the Australian Geomechanics Society.
David was a contributing author of The Foundation and Footings Society of (Vic) Inc, Practice Notes, and the principal author of the recent Practice Note 8, Distressed Building Investigation & the provision of Expert Advice, published June 2020.
A regular presenter at seminars, conferences and technical meetings over many years, David has presented on a number of topics related to geotechnics with respect the performance of footings and lightly loaded structures across Melbourne and Victoria. These include a technical paper presented to the Australian Geomechanics Society, Victoria Symposium, October 2017, “Reactive Clays and Light Structures”. Technical Paper by D M Lawrance. “Two Case Studies of Movement and Damage in Relatively New Domestic Dwellings”, and a presentation to the Victorian Tree Industry Organisation Soil Secrets Seminar in September 2014, see link below. David is also an annual guest lecturer at Melbourne University in the field of Construction and Residential Building.
Engineering Geologist BSc (Hons), MAIG
Registered Professional Geoscientist 10159