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What Is the Importance of Groundworks in Construction?

Hands up if you know about the groundwork process?

If your hand is down, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

It’s pretty simple. Unless you’re in the construction world, it’s unlikely that you’ll know many construction terms. In line with this, foundations and groundwork may not be a top priority to you.

However, as a homeowner, it’s wise to understand the importance of groundworks to ensure that your building is getting off to the right start.

Groundworks is vital to new buildings as it is typically the first step in the construction process! Get more information on groundworks on our site.

What are Groundworks?

First things first.

Let’s start at the very beginning. As we’ve said, most people aren’t clued up on these types of topics. But the good news is that you’ve come to the right place.

The term ‘groundworks’ refers to all work done to prepare sub-surfaces for the start of a construction project. Another way to explain is to say that Groundwork is the set of activities involved in the initial excavations that lead to laying the foundations.

It also includes activities like laying drains and cabling. Depending on the project, it can also include laying the utilities installations like water pipes, fiber optic cables, telephone lines, and gas pipes.

Aside from any demolition or site enabling works that may need to be carried out, groundworks are usually the first stage of a construction project and may include the following types of groundwork: 

  • Foundations.
  • Trenching.
  • Reinstatement.
  • Substructure.
  • Sewer Construction.
  • Basement Construction.
  • All Drainage.
  • Landscaping.

Keep reading to find out more about the purpose and importance of groundwork for your construction project.

Why is Groundwork Important?

When it comes to constructing buildings, it’s crucial to have a sturdy groundwork. After all, The complete weight of the building is going to rely on its foundation. Proper groundwork is central to the success of any construction project.

Remember that in the building industry, groundwork is vital to the overall process. For this reason, it serves as the onset of any project.

There are a range of reasons why groundwork is important to any building project. It helps create the layout and structure of the building and provides the strength required to hold the building’s weight.

It’s important to note that the building contractor you hire is expected to do the evaluation and planning of the groundwork. It’s their responsibility to lay out everything according to the expected output of the project before the construction starts.

The Stages of Construction

Any good construction project will follow a carefully planned set of stages. Each stage must happen in a specific order. The stages work together to ensure the stability of the entire final structure.

In terms of the groundwork process, these stages ensure that everything runs smoothing.

The only thing that might take place before the groundworks aspect of a project is the demolition of pre-existing structures in order to make way for the new project.

We’ve laid down details about two different stages involved in the construction process.

Ground investigation

As a legal requirement and a matter of good practice of most local authorities, a ground investigation of the site is carried out. This helps to identify any potential problems, stability levels, and past land uses.

These investigations allow data to be gathered and used for effective design. It also highlights any potential defects, such as contamination or abandoned mine workings, to be considered.

An assessment of ground conditions typically includes hydrology, geology, soil conditions and contaminated land issues.

Through gathering accurate information on these issues, the appropriate treatments can be carried out before any structural work begins.

Site Clearance

Next, as part of the initial preparatory works, the site will usually need to be cleared. During this stage, the topsoil is taken up from the footprint of the structure.

The depth will depend on whether the site has a slope and on the lay of the land. If it is sloped, the ground may need to be leveled. If this happens, retaining walls will be constructed to create level development platforms.

What are Foundations?

The foundation interfaces the building and provides strength and support to keep the structure from splitting, settling, or unbalancing.

Structural engineers assess every domestic and commercial site in order to evaluate whether the ground requires piles, underpinning, foundations or engineering designs.

A foundation plays three key roles in construction. It keeps the structure secure during winds and floods, it supports the load of an entire building, and it prevents moisture from seeping into the structure and weakening it.

Foundation structures also work to improve the overall aesthetic and look of the building. The following list describes the primary groundwork solutions.

  • Driveways
  • Footings
  • Excavations
  • Flagging
  • Block flooring
  • Beam flooring
  • Piling
  • Underpinning

The Next Steps

After reading this article, you should know how to answer the question, ‘what is groundwork?’. The great news is that you’ve done your research and so you’re empowered to make the right choices when it comes to your home construction.

So, what are the next steps?

It’s time to choose a contractor. Keep in mind when making this choice that you need to prioritize finding fully-certified contractors who have extensive experience in groundwork.

They must have experience in draining systems, foundation work, excavation and demolition. Remember that that groundwork is the most important aspect of any construction project. It plays a central role in reducing any potential damages and resulting costs in the future.

The way your building will perform and stand up to the future environment depends on good groundworks. For more information, please contact us.