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SECTION II. SITE PREPARATION

BUILDING APPROACH ROADS

5-4. Most new construction takes place on undeveloped land. Therefore, the approach roads need building up to deliver materials to the site. Although these are temporary roads, construct them carefully to withstand heavy loads. Build enough lanes to permit free traffic flow to and from the construction site because the routes may become permanent roads later.

CLEARING AND DRAINING THE SITE

5-5. Land clearing consists of removing all trees, downed timber, brush, and other vegetation and rubbish from the site to include the remains of previous construction efforts; digging up surface boulders and other materials embedded in the ground; and disposing of all materials cleared. Heavy equipment, hand equipment, explosives, and burning by fire may all be needed to clear the site of large timbers and boulders. The methods to be used depends on:

  • The acreage to be cleared.
  • The type and density of vegetation.
  • The terrain affect upon equipment operations.
  • The availability of equipment and personnel.
  • The time available until completion.

ENSURING ADEQUATE DRAINAGE

5-6. Drainage is important in areas having high groundwater tables and for carrying off rainwater during actual construction. Use either a well-point system or mechanical pumps to withdraw surface and subsurface water from the building site.

LOCATING THE BUILDING SITE

5-7. Stake out the building site after clearing and draining the land. The batter-board layout is satisfactory in the preliminary construction phases. This method consists of placing batter boards about 2 to 6 feet outside of each corner of the site, driving nails into the boards, and extending strings between them to outline the building area.

STOCKPILING CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

5-8. It is important to build up and maintain stockpiles of aggregate both at the batching plant and at the crushing and screening plant.

CONCRETE MATERIALS

5-9. Both aggregate and cement batching plants are essential in operations requiring large quantities of concrete. The batching-plant stockpiles prevent shortages caused by temporary production or transportation difficulties that allows the FA to reach a fairly stable and uniform moisture content and bulking factor. Large stockpiles are usually rectangular for ease in computing volumes. They are flat on top to retain gradation uniformity and to avoid segregation caused by dumping aggregate so that it runs downs a long slope; enough cement must be maintained at the cement-batching plant. The amount of concrete required by the project and the placement rate determine the size of the stockpiles. If admixtures are used, make sure that enough are on hand.

LUMBER AT CONSTRUCTION SITE

5-10. Stockpile plenty of formwork and scaffolding materials at the construction site. The size and quantity of lumber stored depends on the type of forms and/or scaffolding used.

LOCATING BATCHING PLANTS

5-11. The initial location of the aggregate, cement, and water; the aggregate quality; and the location of the work all affect where the cement batching plant is positioned. Depending on these conditions, you can operate it at the same place as the aggregate batching plant or closer to the mixer. After developing a layout, position the batching plant within crane reach of the aggregate stockpiles and astride the batch truck routes. Although the crushing and screening plant is normally located at the pit, it can be operated at the batching plant or at a separate location. A hillside location permits gravity handling of materials without excessive new construction. This may eliminate the need for cranes or conveyors if the road is good.

CONSTRUCTING SAFETY FACILITIES

5-12. Plan and construct the safety facilities during site preparation. This includes overhead canopies and guardrails both to protect personnel from falling debris and to prevent anyone from falling into open excavations. Certain sites, such as those where landslides may occur, require additional safety facilities.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015