Construction 101: Excavation


We’re starting a new series on our blog called Construction 101. Every now and then, we’ll be breaking down and explaining some of our most commonly used construction terms. For our first post, we’re explaining what excavation is.

So just what is excavation? Well, basically excavation is the digging of the hole that will become the underground garage or basement of the building. It involves bringing in  large excavator machines that can dig large quantities of earth per day and load it in the dump truck that are hauling the material to various locations. It’s important because the foundation of the building is confined to the hole that is dug. The duration of the excavating can be anywhere from 3 months to 1 year. Typically all excavations involve machines that dig the earth out to make way for underground usable space. Most large scale excavations are very closely monitored and recorded for movement and vibration to ensure there is no impact on neighbouring structures and soil.  Excavation presents a larger engineering challenge in busy urban environments where one has to be very careful not to interfere with infrastructure such as water, gas, electricity and communication lines.

There are two types of excavation. Excavation with tie-backs and excavation without tie-backs. Excavations with tiebacks are when you have steel cables that are inserted into the bored holes of a shoring wall, then post grouted and stressed into the ground. The steel cables stabilize the shoring walls and adjacent ground to prevent cave ins. Otherwise there would be a disaster if the surrounding earth caved into the excavation.

Stay tuned for our next Construction 101 update!


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