All about Groundworks

When you hear the word ‘groundworks’ it means the work that is completed to prepare a sub-surface before any building work begins. Unless there is any demolition work to be undertaken, groundworks are often the preliminary phase of a building project and could include:

Investigating the soil

Sire clearance

Substructure and stabilization of ground works

site services


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As a matter of good practice and legal requirements for most local authorities, site soil investigation is generally done to help identify past land use, stability and potential problems. This investigation allows the data to be collected and used for effective design, and allows any defects or potential problems, such as soil contamination or old abandoned mine shafts to be fully considered and dealt with.

Assessments of soil conditions usually include hydrology, geology, soil conditions and identifying any problems with contaminated soil. Find out more about Groundwork companies Bristol at a site like

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As part of the initial preparation work, the site would generally need to be cleaned and topsoil taken from the trail of the structure. The depth of clearance varies depending the lie of the land and if there is a slope, in which case the land may need to be levelled. If necessary, the retaining walls can be built in order to create a development platform level.

Substructure is defined all work that is undertaken is under screed or, where there is no screed, to below the finished floor of the lowest level including wet-proof membrane, together with extracting relevant foundations. Retaining walls can be made of stone, brick or blockwork, concrete or wood. Excavation of the basement usually uses sheet piling which is a relatively inexpensive method of retaining wall construction.

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