NZGD rapid upload grants – Request for Proposals

- Ross Roberts

Introduction 

The New Zealand Geotechnical Database (NZGD) is an online database that provides a searchable repository for new and existing geotechnical information. The NZGD is primarily aimed at providing more efficient access to geotechnical information. It can also be used for more strategic purposes such as assisting with natural disaster recovery, increasing resilience around New Zealand, catastrophe loss modelling, and informing land planning and regulatory processes. 

The New Zealand Geotechnical Society has been a strong advocate for the database since it was createdThe database is a valuable resource to enable improvements in how the geotechnical industry operates. By making large volumes of data available to our members new insights can be gleaned into the geotechnical conditions around New Zealand, and future ground investigations and geotechnical projects can be designed more effectively. 

While there are now over 100,000 logs available on the NZGD, there is known to be a backlog of data that could be uploaded to the databasebut has not yet been added often due to a shortage of time. 

The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on our members is yet to be fully understood. Some will be extremely busy, while others may be struggling to keep their teams working. The NZGS would like to use this opportunity to support those members who are struggling by providing funding for them to upload existing data that might otherwise not get added to the database. We have created a fund of $50,000 to be made available to NZGS members to upload data, and now request your proposals to undertake this work.   

We would particularly welcome proposals to upload high quality laboratory and in-situ test results, either to new data points or as an addition to existing data points. 

Application process 

The NZGS requests proposals in the format given at the end of this document.  

We will review the proposals received each week and prioritise them for funding based on the criteria described below. Any proposals that do not get funded in that week will be carried forward to future weeks to compare against new proposals. This is intended to ensure that the NZGS funds are used in the most effective and fair manner. We will make this process as transparent as possible and will give feedback to the submitters so they have an opportunity to fine-tune their submissions if they desire to do so. The scoring system described will be used to guide the process, but will not be a strictly followed rule – discretion and judgement may be applied. 

This process will continue until either the fund is used up, or until no suitable proposals are received. 

It is intended to distribute the funding around multiple organisations but we retain the option to fund one high value proposal.  Note this fund is not intended to fund upload of data if it is already included in a scope of a project to the client and is in hand.  Client permission must have been obtained to upload the data to the NZGD. 

The NZGS committee reserves the right, any point for any reason, to: 

  • Terminate or pause this process 
  • Amend the timelines and the decision-making process
  • Request additional information 
  • Refuse payment if the data uploaded does not match the proposal submitted 

Criteria 

To prioritise the funding, each submission will be scored against the following criteria: 

Criterion  Description and rationale  Scoring (each element /10)  Weighting(%) 
NZGS membership  This fund is from NZGS funds, provided by NZGS members. As part of the intent is to support NZGS members who are struggling to stay busy in the lockdown, this funding should only be made available to NZGS members.  Not scored – for submission to be eligible for further assessment the applicant must confirm that: 

  1. The applicant is an NZGS member. 
  2. The individual(s) who will upload the data must also be NZGS members. 
N/A 
Location  Priority will be given to data in areas where there is currently a shortage, or where rapid growth means that additional data will be particularly valuable.  Points will be assigned based on the number of locations in high priority Territorial Authority areas (see definition below): 

  • 0 points: 0-10% in high priority area 
  • 2 points: 10-30% in high priority area 
  • 4 points: 30-50% in high priority area  
  • 6 points: 50-70% in high priority area  
  • 8 points: 70-90% in high priority area 
  • 10 points: 90-100% in high priority area  
10 
Depth  Priority will be given to data that reaches a greater depth. Although shallow investigations can be useful, their relevance is likely to be site-specific rather than more broadly useful as they may be more heavily influenced by local variability such as the presence of fill.  Point will be assigned based on the median average as follows: 

  • 2 points: Median <6m deep 
  • 4 points: Median 6-10m deep 
  • 6 points: Median 10-15m deep 
  • 8 points: Median 15-30 m deep 
  • 10 points: Median >30m deep 
10 
Type  Priority will be given to high quality CPTs with raw data attached and boreholes  Point will be assigned based on the percentage of boreholes or CPTs as follows: 

  • 0 points: 0-10% BH or CPT 
  • 2 points: 10-30% BH or CPT 
  • 4 points: 30-50% BH or CPT 
  • 6 points: 50-70% BH or CPT 
  • 8 points: 70-90% BH or CPT 
  • 10 points: 90-100% BH or CPT 
10 
Format  Priority will be given to uploads that have AGS format data or raw CPT data associated with them.  Point will be assigned based on the percentage of data points that will have AGS4.0 NZ format data attached as follows: 

  • 0 points: 0-10AGS / raw CPT data 
  • 2 points10-30% AGS / raw CPT data 
  • 4 points: 30-50% AGS / raw CPT data 
  • 6 points: 50-70% AGS / raw CPT data 
  • 8 points: 70-90% AGS / raw CPT data 
  • 10 points: 90-100% AGS / raw CPT data 
20 
Groundwater monitoring  Priority will be given to uploads that have groundwater monitoring data associated with them which will be uploaded using the NZGD groundwater monitoring module as electronic (not PDF) records.  Point will be assigned based on the percentage of data points that will have groundwater monitoring data uploaded in the groundwater monitoring module as follows: 

  • 0 points: 0-10% GW data 
  • 2 points: 10-30% GW data 
  • 4 points: 30-50% GW data 
  • 6 points: 50-70% GW data 
  • 8 points: 70-90% GW data 
  • 10 points: 90-100% GW data 
20 
Cost  Priority will be given to uploads that provide a good benefit to cost ratio.  Scoring for this aspect is yet to be determined, but will be based on: 

  1. Cost per investigation point 
  2. Cost per metre of data uploaded 
  3. Cost per AGS data file uploaded 
30 

In the above table “high priority area” means areas within the Territorial Authority boundaries listed below, based on a combination of high growth, high needs, or a shortage of existing data. Other locations might be considered if the applicant can make a convincing case.

  • Auckland Council
  • Kapati Coast District Council
  • Horowhenua District Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • New Plymouth District Council
  • Queenstown-Lakes District Council
  • Selwyn District Council
  • Waipa District Council
  • Western Bay of Plenty District Council
  • Whangarei District Council
  • West Coast Regional Council
  • Invercargill City Council

Payment 

NZGS will pay a lump sum for each approved proposal once evidence has been provided that the data has been successfully uploaded. We welcome applications split into batches to enable faster payments. 

Invoices should be addressed to “New Zealand Geotechnical Society” and sent by email to treasurer@nzgs.org. Each invoice should include a reference to the unique number provided to you when your proposal was accepted. 

Our payment runs are normally on the 5th and 20th of each month. In order to give us an opportunity to process your invoice and to check that the data has been uploaded as in our agreement, please allow three weeks for payment to be received from the date of your invoice being received. 

Application format 

Please submit applications to secretary@nzgs.org and attach the form in the word document here: NZGD data upload proposal form

Ross Roberts
Email - ross.c.roberts@gmail.com

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