For some people, the word “excavation” conjures up images of Indiana Jones and archaeological digs. For those of us in the construction industry, the term encompasses a wide range of excavating tasks that might need to be accomplished for any given construction project. Here’s a quick look at some of the common types of excavation and how excavating software can expedite and improve the process.
In general, excavation types are classified either by the material that is excavated or the purpose of the excavation. For instance, you might be tasked with the removal of muck or rock, which would be material-based excavations. On the other hand, you might be tasked with stripping the land, which is a purpose-based type of excavation.
Stripping Excavation & Topsoil Excavation
When you have a large construction project, cut and fill is a big part of the equation. This type of excavation, also sometimes known as stripping excavation, includes the removal of topsoil, and possibly other materials such as sand, sediment and so forth. This process ensures that there is a safe, strong base on which a foundation can be laid. Sometimes this type of excavation also is considered to be topsoil excavation because we do remove top soil during the stripping exaction process. But, as stated before, stripping is a purpose- based exaction, while topsoil exaction refers to the materials that are being removed. These days, most companies will use exaction software to ensure the accuracy of a stripping excavation project or topsoil excavation project.
Of course, during a construction project, we often remove much more than the just the topsoil. In a previous article, we detailed the layers of soil which include the top layer, which is very thin and known as the O Layer or O Horizon. This is just the thin top layer with decomposing materials, such as leaves and insects. Below this is the topsoil and below this is the subsoil, which contains clay and minerals. During earth excavation, we often delve into this subsoil layer, and excavating software also can help streamline this process.
Water can be an issue with any construction project, and we often find large quantities of muck on a construction site. Muck is a combination of soil and water, and we often remove it because it might contain too much water or perhaps there is something contaminating the muck, so we remove it. In some cases, the muck is removed and then spread out over a large area so that it can dry out and perhaps be used as fill.
As you might expect by the title, this is a materials-based type of excavation that involves the removal of rocks at a construction site. This can be a very complex type of excavation and costly, as well, but often necessary if rock formations exist on the construction site. Specialized equipment will be needed to break up and remove the rock.
These are just a few types of excavation that exist within the world of construction. Using excavating software can be an excellent way to streamline the excavation process and can be used to calculate cut and fill, topsoil stripping, strata and rock cuts and more. At EarthCalc, our role in the excavation process is to provide high-quality dirt estimates and we use sophisticated excavation software and earthworks software to complete these estimates. If you need dirt estimates, we are able to receive plans in a variety of formats including CAD (both 2D & 3D), TIFF, ASCI, PDF and even hard-copy plans. If you need dirt estimates, materials estimates or even machine control files, the team at EarthCalc is here to help. You call or email us at any time or simply click on the Send Us Work tab at the top of our homepage.