What do ‘groundworks’ mean?

Civil Engineering
What do ‘groundworks’ mean

Groundworks is a widely used term that is an essential element in the construction industry. When you ‘lay the groundwork’, you’re actually preparing the ground and below-ground surface for the initial stages of the construction project. This is essentially the first stage of laying foundations. So, what does it all entail, and why is it so necessary to get right?

Site clearance

One of the first elements of groundwork is to prep the site for construction. The entire area must be cleared so that work can begin. So, all equipment must be removed from the site, including building materials, machinery, debris, and more. Groundworks could also include levelling the area and removing surface soil in preparation for construction. Remember, if a building project is going to take place, the ground must be level for the foundations to be laid successfully.

Ground investigations

From the moment planning is in its development, a ground or site investigation takes place. This is a crucial part of the groundworks. It involves small excavations of the land which determine the grade of the soil (what it’s made up of). You can send samples for testing which can be done remotely or over an extended period on the site. This assesses the land in full and determines whether or not it’s safe and suitable for development. Typically, site investigations are necessary to obtain planning permission from local authorities.

Creating retaining structures is a crucial part of the groundworks

Retaining structures, such as a retaining wall are vital for any construction project. These can be used above or below ground and the wall supports the surrounding earth and soil movement. It helps to prevent landslides and maintains the integrity of a structure too. Of course, this must be done to exact specifications and standards. Retaining walls are a crucial element of the groundworks and must be completed by a qualified professional.

The endless task of groundwork activities

Groundworks are varied, more so than you might think. Tasks include:

  • Sheet Piles
  • Trenching
  • Landscaping
  • Laying Foundations
  • Tunnelling
  • Temporary Drainage

These are only a small part of the groundwork phase, there are many more elements involved.

Precision is key

Any construction project can go wrong in the blink of an eye. Incorrect calculations, shoddy workmanship, and cutting corners can create disaster. Worse still, if the problem begins at the groundworks, it’s difficult to rectify. That is why it’s necessary to have a skilled professional handle every part of the build, whether it’s a small project or a large one. You need precision at every turn, and you cannot take a chance when lives are at stake.

Get things right and projects run smoother

Starting a construction project right, regardless of the size or type, is important. It makes a huge difference and will ensure the ground is ready to be built on. Groundwork involves preparing the ground for the first stages of building and includes temporary drainage, site clearance, creating retaining walls, and more. When the groundworks gets off to the best start, things are less likely to go wrong.


Civil Engineering