Nelson Bustamante: Work Procedure of Excavation at Construction Site

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The process of excavation at a construction site involves a comprehensive understanding of various aspects including centerline and excavation drawings, setting out plans on the ground, soil excavation, and removal procedures. Quality assurance checks such as recording ground levels and marking reference points are essential throughout the process to ensure precision and adherence to project specifications.

Excavation, broadly defined, encompasses the movement of earth, rock, or other materials utilizing tools, equipment, or explosives. It encompasses various tasks such as trenching, wall shafts, tunneling, and underground activities, serving as a foundational activity for any construction project.

Excavation of Footing Trenches.
Fig 1: Excavation of Footing Trenches.

Drawings Required for Excavation

1. Centerline Drawing or Gridline Drawing

These drawings depict grids marked with numbers and alphabets, facilitating site marking for reference. The alignment of these grid lines is crucial as they intersect with the excavation and footing areas.

2. Excavation Drawing

This drawing specifies the dimensions (length, width, and depth) of the excavation, typically delineated by a dotted line.

Scope of the work for Excavation

The scope of work associated with excavation encompasses several crucial tasks conducted before, during, and after the excavation process:

  • Setting out corner benchmarks.
  • Surveying ground levels and top levels.
  • Excavating to approved depths.
  • Dressing loose soil and ensuring compliance with cut-off levels.
  • Constructing dewatering wells and interconnecting trenches.
  • Marking building boundaries and constructing protective bunds and drains.

Working Procedure of Excavation

The excavation process unfolds through a series of meticulous steps:

  1. Clearing and Site Preparation: Initial activities involve clearing the construction site of unwanted vegetation, bushes, and debris.
  2. Setting Out: Ground tracing, involving the marking of excavation lines and centerlines, precedes actual excavation work. Corner benchmarks, usually numbering between two to four, are established on permanent structures to guide level measurements.
  3. Depth Fixing and Excavation: Utilizing reference drawings and benchmarks, the excavation depth is determined and executed either manually or through machinery, based on availability.
  4. Soil Management: Excavated soil is either removed from the site or strategically stocked nearby, maintaining a minimum distance of 1 meter from the excavation pit to prevent soil erosion.

Pit Dressing and Safety Measures: Excavated pits are dressed as per drawing specifications, with proper shoring implemented in loose soil areas for safety. Additionally, all sides of the building are sealed for safety purposes.

Removal of Excess Soil

Efficient management of excavated materials is crucial for project efficiency:

  • Estimate and utilize excavated materials for backfilling, gardening, or road preparation.
  • Simultaneously carry out excavation and filling to minimize handling.
  • Stack excess material appropriately to prevent obstruction of other construction activities and promptly dispose of unwanted material.

Quality Checks for Excavation

Quality assurance measures are integral to the excavation and filling processes:

  • Record initial ground levels and verify pit dimensions.
  • Dispose of unsuitable material and stack suitable material for backfilling.
  • Obtain approval for strata classification from competent authorities.
  • Ensure compliance with drawing specifications, particularly regarding pit bottom and side dressing.
  • Implement necessary safety measures throughout the excavation and filling procedures.

By meticulously adhering to these procedures and quality checks, excavation activities can be conducted efficiently, ensuring the foundation for a successful construction project.

Read More : Types of Soil Excavation Tools and Machines in Construction

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