Site Grading: What is it All About?

10 January 2020

For all those who are curious about this subject, think of site grading as a terrain smoothing service. True, structures are built into the sides of hills all the time, but the preferred path to success, when at all possible, is to level a slope. There are options to explore here, and they’ll receive attention, but the primary goal is always the same, to decrease the elevation between two or more points on a piece of sloping land.

Why Is Site Grading Such An Important Service?

If the foundations of a structure are to be laid, someone’s going to have to come along before the construction work begins. This “someone” will give the terrain a once-over, check its elevation, then they’ll come up with the most efficient way to “grade” the site. The ground is levelled by excavators. When the digging concludes, the construction site gets the go-ahead. The foundations are now that much easier to introduce, with the excavators and site workers approaching across the flattened ground.

Extraneous Services Require Site Grading Work

Water flows downhill. It’s unlikely, make that impossible, for water to go uphill. Unless there’s a pump powering the stream, fluid resolutely pours from the highest plane to the lowest point on any piece of land. For drainage purposes, site grading services ensure a more controllable fluid drainage system. Again, there are other options. Water tanks and pump stations can overcome slopes, but why go through the extra expense when a ground levelling excavator can create a flat, gravity-neutral basin for any drainage network?

Recruiting Land Contour Experts

Here’s the last question, plus an answer that should satisfy everyone. If this work is all about flattening a piece of land, why can’t a contractor simply hire an excavator and use a primitive levelling system to get the job done? That’s not an option, not on large tracts of land. While the hypothetical patch of the terrain might look flat from the ground, it’s probably sloping gently in one direction, then it’s switching direction, perhaps several times over the course of half a kilometre. Civil engineers and geotechnical consultants, packing the latest contour maps and geo surveys, are needed to map out the ground and create a report of the best way to grade those contours.

Viewed initially as a straightforward work assignment, the civil engineers soon bring perspective to the situation. It’s not only the structural foundations and drainage systems that are a cause for concern. No, what about storm waters? If the ground is graded absolutely flat, or if there’s a bowl-like depression because of unexpected soil settling, suddenly there’s a flood hazard to complicate matters. Really, at the end of the day, site grading work should be assigned to an expert technical service.

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