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2 Excavation & Filling





Definition of Earthwork Materials

Topsoil shall mean the top layer of soil that can support the growth of vegetation.
Approved material shall mean all materials acceptable in accordance with this
Unsuitable material shall mean other than approved material and shall include:

material from swamps

peat, logs, stumps and perishable material

material susceptible to spontaneous combustion

soil of liquid limit exceeding 70 and / or plasticity index exceeding 35

materials having a moisture content greater than the maximum permitted for such
materials in the Contract

Rock shall mean hard material whose geological nature is to be regarded as such and
individual boulders exceeding 0.20 m3 or other masses of hard natural material which
necessitates the use of blasting or approved pneumatic tools for their removal.
Special filling material shall mean approved material but shall all pass a 75 mm BS
sieve. The fraction passing a 75 microns BS sieve shall have the following characteristics :

liquid limit not exceeding 35

plasticity index not exceeding 12

coefficient of uniformity shall be greater than 10

the percentage passing 75 microns BS sieve shall be less than 20 % by weight

Cohesive soil includes clays with up to 20 % of gravel and having a moisture content not
less than the value of the plastic limit minus 4.
Well-graded granular and dry cohesive soils include clays containing more than 20 % of
gravel and / or having a moisture content less than the value of plastic limit minus 4, wellgraded sands and gravels with a uniformity coefficient exceeding 10

Technical Specification




Uniformly-graded material includes sands and gravels with a uniformity coefficient of 10

or less, and all silts. Any soil containing 80 % or more of material in the particle size range
60 microns 2 um will be regarded as silt for this purpose.


Earthwork Generally
The Contractor shall clear the site of rubbish, debris, tall grass, shrubs, bushes,
undergrowth and the like including all trees other than those on the drawings which are to
be retained including grubbing the roots.
The Contractor shall carry out the excavation including breaking up of all obstructions
encountered to the required dimensions, lines, levels and slopes as indicated on the
approved drawings.
The Contractor shall remove all surplus excavated materials including all obstructions
encountered from site.
The Contractor shall carry out all earthwork in such a manner as to prevent erosion or slips
and shall limit working faces to safe slopes and height. The Contractor shall ensure that all
surfaces have at all times sufficient gradients to enable them to shed water without causing
The Contractor shall keep the site and the whole of the excavations free from all surface,
ground and subterranean water by pumping or otherwise.
Surveys shall be made of areas of excavation and filling before any work is carried out
under the Contract, and after all excavation and filling work have been completed.
All slopes shall be cut to the gradient shown in the approved drawings. The slopes are to
be protected with lean concrete as soon as they are cut. If necessary, before applying
concrete protection to the slopes, the slopes are to be covered with polythene sheets. The
Contractor should allow for this in his tender.
The Contractor shall be responsible for the making good and rectifying of any bank slips,
erosion, etc, of the slopes, and any damage to drains, culverts, pipes etc, caused thereby
during the course of construction, all at his own expense.

Technical Specification





Excavation of Foundation and Trenches

The sides of trench shall be adequately supported at all times. The Contractor shall be
responsible for the design, supply, installation and removal of all temporary works
The trench shall be kept free of water.
The bottom of all excavations shall be levelled carefully and stepped or benched
horizontally as necessary. Any pockets of soft material or loose rock in the bottoms of pits
and trenches shall be removed and the resulting cavities and large fissures filled with Grade
15 concrete. After the placing of any blinding concrete required by the Contract, no
trimming of the side face shall be carried out 24 hours.
All excavated materials from such excavations not required for refilling shall be disposed
of to an approved dumping ground.
The Contractor shall at his own expense make good with blinding concrete:
(a) Any excavation greater than the net volume required for the Works.
(b) Any additional excavation at or below the bottom of the foundation level which the
Contractor allows to become unsuitable.


Refilling of Foundation and Removal of Supports

All filling shall consist of approval material as defined in Clause 1 deposited and
compacted by approved plant in accordance with Clause 5. Temporary supports shall be
carefully removed as the filling proceeds except where they are required by the design to be
left in position, but the removal of such supports will not relieve the Contractor of his
responsibilities for the stability of the works.



EF.5.1 Filling
Filling shall be carried out to an agreed level matching with adjacent ground. Should the
Contractor fill above the agreed levels, the Contractor shall, entirely at his own expense,
remove such excess filling.

Technical Specification




EF.5.2 Compaction of Filling

Fill materials shall generally be placed in layers, not exceeding 250 mm per layer, and
thoroughly compacted by approved type rollers or compactors before the next layer is
applied. Where the fill material is conveyed by scrapers, the layers so spread shall also not
exceeding 250 mm thickness.
Where the fill materials are transported by tippers, each load shall be subsequently
bulldozed, spread and levelled in layers, and compacted as described above.
The Contractor may be permitted to use sheepsfoot rollers for compaction, and for the final
layer or fill, smooth-wheeled rollers of not less than 10 Tonne capacity.
Compaction shall be controlled and carried out with sufficient passes of the rollers to obtain
a satisfactory bulk dry density.
Compaction shall generally be required to reach at least 90 % of the maximum dry density
at optimum moisture content compared with results obtained from laboratory test. For fill
within 500mm of the formation level, the compaction shall reach at least 95 %.
Compaction shall not be carried out, therefore, when the fill is too dry to achieve the
satisfactory degree of compaction. In the case of such dry fill, the moisture content shall be
increased by spraying with water from travelling water tanks, or other approved means, as
the rolling proceeds.
Where the Contractor fails to obtain sufficient compaction in each layer, he shall not be
allowed to proceed with the next layer and no claim for time lost or extra time require will
be allowed in respect of such delay in the Works.
Where any undue movement due to soft, unstable foundation conditions under the fill
occurs, or any unsuitable materials are encountered at the base of the fill, the area affected
shall be excavated to such depths and over such dimensions and be run to spoil. The
resultant excavation shall be backfilled with suitable materials deposited in layers, each not
exceeding 230 mm loose depth, and compacted as specified above, or with suitable
compressed air compactors, where the excavation work is limited.

Technical Specification





Earthworks To Be Kept Free Of Water

The Contractor shall arrange for the rapid dispersal of water shed on to the earthworks or
completed formation during construction, or which enters the earthwork from any source.
The water shall be discharged into the permanent outfall of the drainage system. Adequate
means of trapping silt shall be provided on temporary systems discharging into permanent
drainage systems. The arrangements shall be made in respect of all earthworks including
excavation whether for pipe trenches, foundations or cuttings.
The Contractor shall provide where necessary temporary watercourses, ditches, drains,
pumping or other means of maintaining the earthworks free from water. Such provision
shall include carrying out the work of forming of the cuttings and embankments in such a
manner that their surfaces have at all times a sufficient minimum cross fall and, where
practicable, sufficient longitudinal gradient to enable them to shed water and prevent
Pumping shall not be regarded as meeting the provisions of this Clause where a dumping
temporarily obstructs the free drainage of a cutting. In such circumstances the Contractor
shall construct temporary drains to a suitable outfall or install the permanent drainage
through the dumpings.

Technical Specification