Excavation is one of the construction industry’s most common and essential processes. It lays the foundation upon which a structure is to be built. Therefore, it’s usually the first stage of any project.
However, construction site excavation requires several processes to prepare every site for further development, including trenching, dredging, and digging. It is a complex process that requires the services of specialists in this specific construction domain to move things like earth, rock, and other materials using specialized tools and equipment.
What Drawings Do You Need for an Excavation Project?
The first thing you need to know before commencing any excavation project is that it requires different drawings and documents to be submitted along with your permit application. The most important drawings and documents include the following:
- A01 Site Plan
- A02 Basement Floor Plan
- S01 Foundation/Basement
- M01 Basement HVAC
These drawings are made for common residential and commercial projects, including:
- New House or Commercial Property Construction
- Floor Addition
- Basement Underpinning
- Interior Renovation
- Site Servicing, etc.
The core purpose of these drawings is to ensure that your construction project is safe and complies with Toronto’s zoning by-laws, the Ontario Building Code, and other essential local/provincial laws. Applicants need to provide each drawing as an individual PDF file in greyscale and in the landscape orientation.
Most people hire a design professional to create accurate site plans and drawings that comply with zoning regulations. Many top-notch professional excavation services in Toronto rely on architects and/or structural engineers in-house for drawings and permit applications.
Scope of Work for Excavation Projects
The scope of work is an essential portion of a site excavation and construction agreement. In short, it explains all the work that needs to be done in every step of a specific project. Without a defined scope of work, there’s no way to set expectations such as progress milestones, timelines, and individual responsibilities. The following are the main elements of a typical scope of work agreement:
The project overview is a brief statement that describes and summarizes the project type, key objectives, and other simple details.
The project scope outlines all the goals and quantifiable data in an excavation project, including a budget, technical specifications, timeline, and milestones.
The deliverables portion of an excavation contract outlines all project objectives and targets. It’s designed to help contractors understand the project’s requirements.
This section outlines a project’s projected timeline. Therefore, it typically includes information such as the overall project length and delivery dates.
5. Project Management
Finally, the project management section details the functions of a project’s administration, including payment information, resource allocation, site management, and legal obligations.
Working Procedure of Excavation Projects
A typical construction site excavation project begins with a thorough understanding of excavation drawings. Using this information, contractors devise a plan to excavate and remove excess soil while completing timely quality checks at every stage.
1. Site Preparation
The first step in an excavation process involves finding out the quality and depth of the soil before clearing the site of obstacles such as plants, trees, weeds, old constructions, etc.
2. Ground Tracing
Next, specialists layer down the excavation lines with lime powder using the site drawings as a reference.
Once the tracing is done, the team commences the excavation project using dedicated tools and equipment.
4. Excess Soil Removal
Once the excavation process is complete, the excess soil is either placed in a pit or removed from the site and stored in another location.
5. Dressing and Dewatering
Next, excavated pits are dressed according to the drawing specifications. During this process, any loose soil area is shored to help it maintain its shape and integrity. Finally, dewatering wells are constructed, along with interconnecting trenches in case of water run-offs.
Why Removal of Excess Soil Is Important
Most experienced construction excavation teams remove excess soil from the site to minimize work area congestion. Soil littered throughout the job site can impede the path of essential machinery and cause unnecessary confusion. Both of these factors typically lead to delays.
Excess soil is an important resource that can be stored and used on other construction sites. Hence, removing it from a job site can offer cost-saving benefits to contractors. Excess soil can also be a potential safety hazard, as it can lead to serious injuries caused by slips and falls, or other accidents.
How Quality Checks for Excavation Are Performed
Contractors and site managers employ checklists that serve as guides for better quality control over excavation projects. Before site preparation and digging, they take photographs of the site and evaluate the trenching conditions using soil boring reports. This process helps them gauge the elevation of site hazards, including obstacles beneath the soil and local water tables.
Other essential checks include:
- Employee Safety
- Footing Inspections
- Barriers and Supports
- Means of Access and Egress
- Equipment Procurement
- Support Systems
- Site Conditions (Weather, Surface Water Run-Off, Ventilation, etc.)
How Long Does the Process Take?
Many factors affect an excavation project’s timeline, including:
- Project Scale
- Site Location
- Contractor’s Experience, Resources, and Team Size
- Permit Application Wait-Time
- Project Difficulty
- Over Digs (Worst-Case Scenarios)
- Safety, etc.
In general, a typical foundation excavation project can take between 3 days to 3 weeks, depending on the factors above.
Construction site excavation is a complex project that requires the services of a professional excavation company. Regardless of your construction project, ensure you are working with a capable team of experts to prevent scope creeping, unnecessary damage, code violations, or any other issues.
At MAGCOR, we have the expertise, experience, and resources needed to work on any type of residential, commercial, and industrial excavation project – from new plot development to basement underpinning, demolition, and trenching. We have worked on thousands of job sites, and have garnered a strong reputation in Toronto in terms of cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and safety.
Our team is equipped with the latest and most advanced excavation tools to ensure each job is completed quickly, effectively, and on budget.