Geotechnical Engineering

Earthworks specification

Construction often involves excavation and movement of material and this makes earthworks one of the most common civil engineering operations. Although normally associated with major structures, such as earth dams or highway embankments, the majority of earthworks operations are connected with minor building construction.

Earthworks operations involve the removal of overburden to reach structurally capable earth or soil, excavation for basements and other underground structures, and to compact fill materials to support structures. For example, buildings constructed on sloping sites or buildings with large footprints inevitably require ‘cut and fill’ earthworks to provide level platforms on which to construct and minimise the volume of material requiring disposal.

Prior to carrying out earthworks operations, a thorough site investigation is necessary to assess local ground conditions. If locally available material is to be used, the soil will need to be analysed to see whether it can achieve the strength and compaction parameters needed for the design.

RSA Geotechnics has provided advice and assistance with the design and specification for a variety of earthworks operations including the construction of large warehouse schemes, distribution depots, sorting centres, road embankments and parking areas. Our expertise can form a significant element in achieving optimum earthwork and foundation solutions, the minimum off-site removal of poor soils and cost savings. RSA Geotechnics have been involved with a number of earthworks and ground improvement projects. Our experience includes:

  • determination of soil compaction parameters
  • determination of acceptability criteria
  • lime and cement stabilisation
  • preparation of earthworks specification
  • advice on settlement characteristics
  • supervision and monitoring of construction stage

RSA Geotechnics has conducted many ground investigations designed to establish earthworks control parameters for both natural and stabilised soils in order to provide a suitable and stable engineered fill material. We can also supervise and monitor the construction phase to ensure that the fill complies with the specification.