Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)

Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)

Building, Construction and Transportation Services


NGI is a geotechnical centre of international dimensions. We have been described as a geo-scientific Eldorado and work with development of larger buildings and infrastructure in Norway and abroad. Top competence achieved through decades of research and consulting results in NGI providing wide expertise to our clients.

With its comprehensive competence within the geo-sciences, NGI is a natural partner for builders, authorities, consultants, contractors and industry. One third of NGI's turnover is related to the construction and building market.

NGI supplies

  • field and laboratory investigations
  • geotechnical engineering
  • engineering geology and rock mechanics
  • foundation design
  • geology for soil, rock and permafrost
  • evaluation of ground-borne vibration
  • geodynamics and earthquake engineering
  • construction site follow-up
  • instrumentation and monitoring
  • evaluation of safety and rehabilitation of
  • embankments and rockfill dams
  • numerical analysis and modelling

Our services are applicable for almost all facets of civil engineering. Examples are foundations for buildings and large structures such as bridges, railways and road building, water supply and sewage systems, tunnels and rock caverns, coastal engineering and embankments and rockfill dams. We cover the whole planning process from feasibility and impact studies to detailed design and follow-up at the construction site.

NGI's expertise and experience from challenging projects, combined with the ability to develop new methods and analysis tools, form a unique starting point for delivering cutting-edge and optimum solutions to our clients. NGI contributes to developing state-of-the-art in geotechnical engineering. We have top competence on material behaviour of soils and foundation engineering. Within engineering geology and rock mechanics, our expertise includes jointed rock and rock protection design.

NGI did the foundation engineering for the new Oslo Opera and for the neighbouring immersed tunnel crossing in Bjørvika. The innovative tunnel was constructed by elements floated into position and lowered onto a pre-made channel on the seabed, and then assembled.

Our knowledge has been used to develop the Q-method - a tool which is used internationally to classify rock masses and assess permanent rock support in tunnels and caverns. Since its introduction in 1974, the Q-method has been updated several times. This empirical method is based on data from existing tunnels around the world. Our expertise also includes numerical modelling and recommendation of stabilizing measures. NGI has a world-class geo-laboratory, with experienced personnel.

Advancing the geosciences
NGI participates actively in national and international professional societies. Our experts are involved in committees, expert panels and standardization bodies. Each year, NGI employees present a large number of lectures at international conferences. NGI gives priority to hosting and arranging workshops and seminars.

With support from The Research Council of Norway and industry, NGI currently leads a large R&D programme on the long-time effect of the bearing capacity of piles. The programme has several inter-national sponsors. One of the main objectives is to develop design rules taking long-time effects into account.

In another R&D programme, NGI, in cooperation with industry, developed methods and recommended practice for building in areas with black shale ground. Important issues concerned swelling of black shale in contact with air and water and radon gas emission.

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