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Quantity Takeoff and Geotechnical Testing

The process of quantity takeoff is an immense undertaking. This term is a blanket statement that includes all of the measurements and calculations involved in the creation and, ultimately, the completion of any given construction project.

Quantity takeoff includes all of the details, small and large, and tends to be the most time- consuming portion of the construction process as it includes everything from calculating labor costs down to small details such as how many light poles will be needed for the site. In the past, this arduous task was completed the old fashioned way with paper and pencil and a calculator, but for the past few decades, various software programs are utilized to speed up the process.

At EarthCalc, we help grading contractors and civil engineers with one portion of the quantity takeoff process — dirt takeoff. Our team of experts will study your plans and basically take a raw land and determine from the plans what amount of dirt needs to be moved onsite determining your excavation within a few percentage points. We have vast experience working on a wide range of construction projects, from waste water treatment plants to subdivisions and beyond.

Of course, prior to our entrance into the project, the soil and subsurface at the site must be studied carefully, and geotechnical engineers complete this process using a variety of methods, including the following:

Boring Tests
One might commence with the “boring” jokes at this point, but in respect to soil testing, “boring,” is not an indicator of the excitement of the task, but rather a description of the process. A hole is bored into the ground and soil samples are then removed and analyzed.

Test Pits
For this option, a geotechnical engineer will have an excavator create a pit at a specific depth to make it easier to study the sub-surface soil conditions.

Trenching can be more accurate than a test pit, as it will cover a longer area of ground, and this can help an engineer study soil conditions throughout an entire construction site.

Of course, collecting the soil is just a small part of the process, it is crucial that this soil and subsurface is studied carefully. While all components of quantity takeoff are important, failing to analyze soil carefully can cause catastrophic results. A geotechnical engineer will study the soil, subsurface and as well as the type of rock found below the surface. Once the materials have been studied, it can be determined how best to excavate and fill the site in order to handle the load of the project.

Furthermore, it is essential to think about the soil in terms of the types of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides. A structure’s ability to withstand a specific level of earthquake, for instance, will partly rest upon the construction of the structure itself as well as on the type of soil and excavation process.

Our services typically come into play after the geotechnical engineers has studied a site carefully and made recommendations. We can come in and help with dirt estimates during the design process or bidding process, as well as during the grading phase of a project. If you have a particularly complex project, we also can come in and double check your own dirt estimates. In general, turnaround takes us about 3 days, although this does depend on the complexity of the project. Outsourcing dirt estimates can lower your overall costs and speed up the quantity takeoff process significantly, so if you need dirt estimates, contact us today and we can get started on your project.