The Wonderful World of Site Preparation and Why It’s Important

two industrial workers taking a look at a current project as the sun sets in the backgroundWhen most people consider the construction industry, they think of the heavy equipment or imagine the erecting of metal structures or frames. Seldom do people consider the very first and, in so many ways, the most fundamental part of the building process which is the construction site preparation. Let’s take a look at the importance of this process, how it’s done, and why ensuring quality work at this stage is of utmost importance. 

Where it Begins — The Initial Considerations for Site Preparation

The preparation of the sight begins with the technical knowledge and understanding of the contractors and engineers. So the entire process rests in the capacity of the people in charge. There is some fundamental understanding of what a site needs, different types of soils, and obstruction removal that will affect the way the project moves forward. There are several potential steps that are part of site preparation including land clearing demolition, excavation, and grading, as well as the installation of water, sewer, gas, and underground electric lines.

The condition of the subsurface and surface condition needs to be investigated and assessed. Part of this might involve investigating the present installation of underground services. This means checking whether there is or has been certain installations in the past that need to be taken into account or reworked. At the same time, engineers most consider any information presented in any land surveying or geotechnical report, calculate the presence of groundwater, the level of grading needed for proper drainage to push water away from the structure. 

All of these steps and components must be considered with precision in order that the construction proceeds according to specified plans and requirements. 

The Necessary Steps for Site Preparation — A Closer Look 

As stated above, there are several components that form what might be considered a full site preparation process. Looking at some of the steps more closely, they include:

Geotechnical report: Engineers and contractors base a lot of their subsequent actions on what the geotechnical report indicates about the state of the soil. This data is important in defining and reporting the properties of soil and its behavior.  The qualities and properties of the soil become imperative in determining the type of foundation necessary. 

Clearing and Excavation Stage: This is probably the biggest job in the process, given that it might require the most heavy-duty equipment. Some of the common equipment used during this stage include:

  • Skid steer: A smaller but versatile piece of machinery that offers a lot of maneuverability because of its compact size and shape. 
  • Dump trucks:  These tough guys can handle any working conditions. They are off-road vehicles that are capable of handling extreme weather and working conditions. 
  • Excavators: These are the popular kids on the block and are used in many construction sites as they are useful in material handling. 
  • Loaders: whether it is a wheel loader or backhoe loader these are typically part of every site. The wheel loader can provide flexibility in reduced spaces. Their main purpose is to move materials onto the worksite.

So once the layout of the structure is set accurately the excavation work can begin. This is when the soil is removed and excavated in order to make room for said structure. The type of equipment used largely depends on the type of soil, the nature of the site, available space, etc.   

Grading of Construction Site: Grading is important to ensure that water will not become a factor and to force water away from the structure. Certain building codes will provide the necessary specifications for grading depending on the site.  The regulations exist to ensure that there are proper drainage options. 

Compaction of Site: Once the excavation and grading are out of the way the soil beneath the site foundation must be compacted to a very specific density outlined in the IBC code. A bad compaction and poor grading can lead to cracks in the building. There are several types of equipment that can be used for the compaction process and each one ensures that the soil is where it needs to be to hold a foundation and structure. 

The Benefits of Quality Site Preparation 

There are several benefits that come with quality and professional site preparation. All of these will ultimately have a lasting impact on the final structure or building that is being erected. The benefits include:

  • Removing obstructions makes the rest of the job easier. 
  • Increasing ease of access to the site for all the necessary workers and laborers. Clearing out the site removes these obstructions that might slow down further progress. 
  • Damage reduction. Probably one of the biggest benefits of proper construction site preparation is that the right foundation sets the stage. With good site preparation there is less possibility of damage to the structure or encountering problems along the way once construction starts. 
  • Increases lifespan. When the site is prepared with utmost caution and precision it ensures quality and long-lasting stability for the project. 

Get the Right Foundation & Site Preparation With L&B and Sons

So whether you are looking for full site preparation or are in need of a particular service like site clearing, leveling, excavation, or grading services like phasing, staging, compaction, or embankment, L&B Sons is here to take care of business. We are experienced professionals with the highest quality training and equipment to ensure that your construction site takes off on the right foot.