What is specialist groundwork and when might you need it?

Civil Engineering
What is specialist groundwork and when might you need it?

Specialist groundworks refers to the preparation of the sub-surfaces so construction work can begin. This is typically the first phase of construction and deals with a range of groundworks, including stabilisation, site clearance, investigation and more. Groundwork specialists may also deal with cables and pipes running through or near the site. So, what are specialist groundworks and when is it needed?

Ground investigations are often required by local authorities

Most authorities will require a thorough ground investigation before any work is allowed to be carried out. This uncovers previous use of the land, along with stability issues. Groundworks also identify problems on the site. The data collected from the investigation can then be used in the design process.

This is a necessary part of specialist groundworks because a full assessment of the ground conditions can find unknown soil conditions.

Site clearance

An important part of specialist groundworks is site clearance. This part of the phase begins immediately after the ground investigations have ended and involve the preparation of the site. Clearance often involves the removal of topsoil which creates a footprint on the structure being created. In some cases, levelling the ground is necessary when the site is uneven as it allows for safe construction. It is an important part of specialist groundworks.

Ground stabilisation and structures

Another crucial element of specialist groundworks is stabilisation. Ground stabilisation reinforces the soil with ground anchors and soil nails. Of course, the method of stabilisation depends on the condition of the soil and the ground. Once the ground is stabilised, retaining walls can be established through sheet piling.

When is specialist groundwork needed?

As said previously, groundworks typically occur at the beginning of construction and before any foundations are laid. Groundworks can also be used to identify unknown pipes and cables found on or near the site. These must be identified and tested by the correct authorities. Extra caution is needed, however, as these cables could be live. Specialist groundworks detect pipes in the area and a groundworks service can ensure safety.

Groundworks are an important part of a construction project

Groundworks remain a crucial step during the construction phase. It is the first step before the foundations are laid and a structure is formed. Groundworks often involve site investigation, clearance and stabilisation. Specialist groundworks may also locate live cables and pipes in the surrounding area.

Civil Engineering