Alongside archaeological excavation, there are four main ways to excavate a site prior to building work commencing. You might need to excavate a site for many different reasons, perhaps to form a trench into which a structure will sit or to make way for a new bridge support or road, but the chances are that the excavation contractor involved will use one of the four methods outlined below. Read on to find out more about the common construction methods in use in Australia today.
This is required when new ground is going to be built on and only the first few layers of earth need to be removed in order to make a plot ready for building work. If construction work begins on virgin land which has not been compressed sufficiently, then the layer of topsoil that is present may be too weak to support the structure going on top of it. Once removed of grass and other undergrowth by an excavator, the soil can be compacted making it much more reliable for building on.
Earth is what the construction industry refers to as the material that is beneath the layer of topsoil. Unlike topsoil removal, the earth underneath is not excavated in order to make a site easier to build on. Instead, earth excavation might occur to level a site out, such as removing part of a hillside to make it possible to construct a house on its side. Another typical example of an earth excavation project is when a cutting needs to be made to create a flatter stretch of ground. This might be so that it a road or railway can pass through hilly ground. Sometimes, the earth that is removed is kept on site in another location, typically to raise up a patch of lower ground so that it reaches the up to same height as the area which has been excavated.
As you might expect from its name, muck removal or excavation occurs when there is a lot of waste material on a site which must be got rid of. This could be the case on an old industrial site, for example, where waste has been allowed to build up over the years. Muck excavation can also refer to the removal of soil which is heavy in clay and that, therefore, retains lots of water and has become saturated.
This sort of work tends to occur when an area of land needs to be excavated of rocky outcrops. Where no soil or muck is present, the type of excavation equipment used changes from machines like diggers and bulldozers to high explosives. In some cases, holes are drilled into the rock to place explosives where they will be most effective. This sort of excavation is widely used in open cast mining as well as construction.