The term earthwork is deceptively simple. You can sum up earthworks landscaping in one sentence – “Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving or processing of parts of the earth’s surface.”
When you really dig into it, though, you’ll realize there’s far more to it than that. Consider the fact that Standford alone has 104 pages on the subject.
Clearly, there’s more to it than simply moving one pile of earth to another. Keep reading to learn “what are earthworks?” in regards to the construction industry!
What Does Earthwork Mean in Construction?
In construction, earthwork refers to any work done to make an area a suitable height for construction. Earthworks landscaping is principally handled in two ways.
The first is to dig or cut into the earth until you have a level foundation for building. The second is to construct an entirely new area that’s perfect for your building needs.
However you go about it, the art comes in using as much of the local material as possible. Using too much requires importing building materials, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient. Using too little requires having to remove the excess, which is also an unnecessary experience.
Types of Earthworks
Earthworks tend to be classified in one of two main ways. The first refers to the type of material that’s being removed. The second method refers to the intended purpose of the construction.
The first level of earthworks, by difficulty, is considered ‘easy.’ Easy earthworks refers to sand and loose dirt.
The next level is ‘medium,’ which refers to gravel mixed with clay. Hard earthworks can refer to heavy, wet clay or broken rock. It can also indicate gravel mixed with boulders.
Some hard earthworks may require blasting with explosives, as well.
Earthworks are often classified by their intended usage, also. Channel excavation is one example of the second type of classification. Channel excavation requires removing materials from a channel of some kind, like a drainage ditch for instance.
That’s just one potential application for channel excavation, though. You might dig out a channel to change the direction of a flowing body of water, as well. You could also excavate a channel to increase the holding capacity for a particular body of water.
This is also a good example of why you should work with a trusted earthworks company if you’re undertaking a large building project. Earthworks landscaping experts will figure out how to use as much of the materials on hand to keep waste to a minimum.
You might coordinate a channel excavation project with a leveling project, for example. The excess materials from the channel excavation can be used to level the ground for your building platform. Not only will this save you time and money, it’s also good for the environment.
Earthworks can be complicated. Figuring out the volume of displaced earth from scraping a parking lot requires some heavy math. It’s more than worth the effort, though. It smooths the way for your construction project to run smoothly and seamlessly.
Looking for Earthworks?
Earthworks is a big job. It requires a ton of heavy machinery and extensive technical know-how, but it’s so worth it when it’s done right. If you’re ready to work with an accomplished earthwork construction company to get your building project off the ground, contact us today to set up a consultation!