Excavation is the process of removing soil or rock from the earth’s surface. It is done for different purposes, such as laying the foundation of buildings and constructing roads, pavements and reservoirs. Thus, excavation is regarded as an essential procedure in the field of construction.
However, contrary to common belief, excavation does not only involve making a hole or cavity. For one, the best civil excavation service is done by using a set of systematic processes of removing the soil. The process also involves the use of different tools, explosives and equipment to remove different types of materials.
Excavation is executed to accomplish various purposes, and its types are classified according to the type of material excavated and the purpose of work. Below are the common types of excavation used in construction according to the type of material excavated and the specific purpose.
Types of Excavation According to the Kind of Material Excavated
As the name suggests, topsoil excavation is a type of service excavation that involves the removal of soil, as well as various materials like decaying materials and vegetation, from the topmost surface.
Topmost excavation is done because the topsoil is responsible for supporting the growth of trees and other vegetation. It contains more moisture that might affect the integrity of the construction work and the soil’s ability to bear various structural loads.
The topsoil is removed so that the layer underneath will lose its moisture and become more convenient to handle. Generally, this type of excavation ranges within a few inches, somewhere between 150 mm and 300 mm.
Scooping the earth soil is proven to enhance the foundation’s ability to resist loads. This type of excavation removes the soil located below the topsoil. It is usually conducted when there is a need to lay out the structural foundation and create drainage ditches and embankments.
Earth excavation is generally performed at a large scale, so it is commonly accomplished using various earthmoving or excavation vehicles, such as diggers, suction excavators and dump trucks.
Rock excavation is regarded as one of the more complex types of excavation types. The method involves clearing rocky terrains and surfaces in preparation for a construction project.
Given that rocks are very hard, the conventional excavation procedures that use picks, diggers and excavators are not applicable in this type of excavation. In most cases, rock excavations involving large bodies of rocks make use of specialised drills or explosives to penetrate or break the rock up.
Muck excavation is a challenging type of excavation. As the name suggests, this involves the removal of muck consisting of soil with high water content in it. Technically, muck excavation is done to ensure the formation of a stable foundation, prevent the foundation from getting damaged, and avoid settlement and consolidation.
This type of material excavation involves removing any combination of earth, topsoil, muck and rock. Many excavation agencies frequently use this method because of the difficulty in distinguishing the materials that must be excavated.
Unclassified excavation works usually involve a range of earthmoving equipment. The job could use the tools needed for muck, rock or earth excavation.
Types of Excavation According to the Purpose of Work
Excavation is also classified according to the purpose and application of the construction work. These types are the following.
This involves the removal of various materials to make way for road construction. Its purpose is to ensure that the roads and flexible pavements created have durable foundations.
Cut and Fill
The cut and fill excavation is also known as stripping excavation. Many construction companies use this for clearing and preparing larger construction areas.
Typically, this type of excavation involves the removal of materials by cutting or stripping. The removed material can be used as a fill for elevated sections, embankments and other purposes. If a construction needs a level surface to build on, the raised sections of the construction area are cut and used to fill the bottom sections.
Drainage excavation includes the removal of rocks, soil or other materials to give way for the construction of a drainage system to convey water through various drainage structures, such as the following.
- Road pipes
- Agriculture drains
- Storm water drainage systems
This type of excavation deals with the removal of sedimentations from underwater. The procedure is used to help boats and ships travel in certain water bodies without disturbance. Also, this is beneficial in other constructions created in bodies of water.
Footing involves the removal of soil for the construction of shallow and deep foundations, and it is necessary for building a stable foundation. This type is considered the main component of bridges and buildings that allow them to bear the loads, as well as the resistance against them.
Trench excavation is used to excavate areas with great depths. This is done to give way to the following applications.
- Strip foundation construction
- Sewer system installation
- Service line installation
Basement excavation focuses on the removal of various materials found under the ground surface. The procedure is a part of building excavation. It is regarded as an expensive type of excavation and conducted either as complete or partial underground excavation, depending on the requirements of the building constructed.
A solid foundation is an essential requirement when building a bridge. Having this ensures that the bridge will not become a potential hazard in the future. Thus, the area where the bridge will be constructed must be correctly excavated, and this is where bridge excavation comes in.
However, bridge excavations are not as simple as they sound. They require large construction vehicles like diggers and excavators to obtain the desired results. The use of these vehicles makes construction more efficient and cost-effective.
Excavations are indeed essential to almost any kind of construction. They are used to clear the construction area and ensure that the foundation’s strength and the expected structural integrity of structures erected are met. This is why every construction project needs a reliable, licensed and experienced service provider to handle all the required excavation tasks.