Image credit: Shilling Excavation
Site preparation is the first primary step that precedes construction and defines the success of the whole project. Different construction site preparation services are used by property owners depending on the current needs of their chosen location. In general, these services are designed to build a strong foundation that can support your residential, agricultural, commercial, or industrial structure. They determine whether the site conditions are favorable for construction activities and provide the necessary solutions to bridge gaps until it is safe to start building. Here are some of the main site preparation services you might use for your project.
Construction Site Preparation Services
Site preparation refers to various prep work needed to make a given site completely construction-friendly and compatible with its intended activities. The services involved usually differ based on the current status of the land and often include major stages like site evaluation, surveying, site clearing, and excavation. Other key services include:
- Building pad excavation
- Pad leveling
- Parking lot preparation
- Ground leveling
- Plumbing and HVAC
- Erosion control
These services ensure that the land is free from various debris and obstacles that can hinder construction activities or affect the structural integrity of your building in the future. Construction site experts use specialized equipment and machinery to prepare the site. They work with excavators, skid steers, backhoes, dump trucks, bulldozers, and so on. Such machines and vehicles require professional handling to be maneuvered across the site and finish the prep work to perfection.
Here is a closer look at some of the main construction site preparation services you can use for your project.
Construction site experts will begin the prep work by first evaluating your site to determine obstructions, hazards, and other red flags to address in terms of safety aspects. A thorough onsite inspection will help you unearth details like the existing underground installations on the site, the type of foundation required, the right land-clearing techniques needed, and so on. Based on this professional site analysis, your experts will recommend the available options you can use to have a well-equipped site for construction. If there are any underground obstacles like vegetation, roots, stumps, sewers, or MEP lines, it is important to address these first because digging into old installations can be dangerous and violate the building codes, whereas natural debris decomposes over time and can weaken your foundation over the years.
Soil testing is also a crucial part of the site evaluation process. This usually involves a geotechnical survey to test the soil and verify its compatibility with both construction activities and your structure itself. In this way, your site experts can decide whether or not the soil can actually withstand the combined weight of your building and construction equipment. Incompatible or weak soil types can cause your structure to eventually collapse. The geotechnical survey will also reveal the soil type (coarse, organic, mixed, etc.) you are working with, which helps in determining a compatible foundation type that will support and reinforce your structure.
Construction site preparation services include surveying the site with professional surveyors who mark the boundary lines within which it is safe and permissible to construct your building. This is done with the help of colored markers and pegs that visually identify your boundaries (based on the site’s legal documents, previous maps, and construction histories) and assist with the designing aspects of construction, as site surveys are meant to show you the ideal locations for building or installing different structures and systems – making this stage a key site preparation service.
Creating Site Access Points
Once the site boundaries and construction design results are in place, site experts can work on access points for the whole location. This is an important part of site preparation because it sets the way for construction workers, vehicles, machinery, and equipment to navigate the site easily and safely and access the required zones. Creating strategic site access points will improve the traffic flow around your jobsite and prevent accidents, so this is something you need to tackle before the main site clearing, excavation, or demolition works begin.
Since the previous stage took care of creating access points and roadways throughout the site, it is now safe for your construction equipment to start clearing land obstacles. This may include both natural and man-made obstacles, depending on what is allowed to be removed using the laws that apply to your site. Trees, vegetation, stumps, roots, and other natural debris are often cleared away to make room for construction. This requires clearing any underground remnants as we saw earlier so that they do not decompose and weaken your building’s foundation. Older and unnecessary structures can be demolished to clear the space for construction activities. This includes removing stones, existing buildings, and any underground obstacles like outdated utilities that can interfere with the upcoming excavation and construction. At the end of the land clearing stage, you will have a clean slate that is ready for new improvements.
Another key construction site preparation service is installing the right drainage pipes and systems to prevent the dangers of flooding.
This stage focuses on necessary features like retention ponds and silt fences to limit the aftermath of potential flooding and also prevent the site soil from getting washed away. By installing the right drainage systems at this point of your site prep work, you can buffer your whole jobsite against the full impact of flooding and keep it stable enough to resume work – instead of going back to square one and incurring heavy losses and reworks.
Site Grading And Filling
Site grading refers to improving your land’s topography by making things flat and compact – ready to be built upon. This stage includes various services like earthmoving, excavation, filling depressions in the earth, and landscaping that will help your experts reshape the land until it develops a leveled and stable surface for construction.
Building Pad Construction
A building pad is a space where the foundation goes and is required to ensure the integrity of your structure. Building pads provide a stable ground for your structure’s foundation, which in turn gives your building a strong overall “footprint”. This stage ideally follows site grading and compacting because it needs a finished, flat surface to begin with. Depending on the load your building pad should bear (as well as other project requirements), your site experts will decide whether you need circular, square, or rectangular pad foundations. The type of foundation your project requires – which was determined early on during site evaluation – will also affect your pad excavation and leveling scope. This stage marks the end of the most important construction site preparation services for your project, after which your teams can begin the foundation work and dive into the main construction.
Site preparation services that are relevant and tailored to your specific project can help you turn an empty jobsite into your dream home or commercial space. These services bring tons of benefits to property owners and make their investments last longer. For example, a well-executed prep work will remove land obstacles and make the site more accessible to its workers and moving vehicles. This improves the navigability of a busy jobsite.
It also makes it easy to excavate the land without any obstruction. Since natural debris gets cleared away early on, this ensures a long-standing foundation that is no longer prone to collapsing due to the underground decomposition of organic debris. Moreover, site preparation gives a timely heads-up to the construction teams in terms of any underground pipes or wires that might cause hazards during digging and construction – which also eliminates potential lawsuits ahead in case of onsite accidents and injuries. Overall, investing in professional site preparation is a crucial step as a project owner and can help you build a structure that meets your goals, promises your safety, and lasts comfortably longer.