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Earth back-filling and Compaction

Earth back-filling and - Compaction

  • In Civil Engineering construction, we should understand properly the meaning of back-filling, which actually is the process of replacing the soil that is removed during building construction in order to strengthen and to give stability to the foundation structure. Hence it is necessary that we should always go for approved earth material for back filling. After soil testing, the Soil with Liquid limit > 65% and Plasticity index > 35% should not be used.
  • Clay soil is not allowed for back filling, the reason being that, the characteristic of clay is, it shrinks when dry and expands when wet, results in development of cracks at later stage.
  • Construction debris and soil with organic material like grass, roots, shrubs and vegetation are not to be used for back filling.
  • Backfill material shall confirm to one of the following types:
  • The process of Field Compaction of soil in construction is to be done in layers of 150 mm depth. Types of solid compaction is always based on the nature of soil and selection of compaction equipment.

FDD reading for all column footings location inside and outside the building.

Field Density of Soil : Earth back-filling to be done with Proper consolidation, compacted at optimum moisture content to a minimum of 95% standard proctor density or Field dry density FDD for all i) Footings up to top level, ii) Inside and Outside Plinth and iii) Below GSB level. Sand replacement method or Core cutter method is to be used to ascertain insitu field density of soil.

Weak strata of soil :

  • Sometimes, if weak strata of soil is found in excavated trenches, footings and any other foundation areas, this has to be removed completely and replaced by strong compacted earth depending upon the type of structure, loads coming over foundations etc.
  • Advice: Actually before starting excavation work, it is very much important, that the strength and stability of soil at various depths of foundation with respect to the Natural ground level of soil is to be determined by conducting soil exploration with reputed agency. (We will discuss the same in our future article)

Earth sliding :

  • Caution: During excavation in all types of soil and all weather conditions, there might be chances of earth sliding, sudden earth collapse, percolation of water in foundation trenches, seepage of water at the sides or from the bottom, all these factors not only affect the work but results in safety of men working at the location. (We will discuss this in our future article) It is the responsibility of Project manager and safety manager to anticipate and foresee the problems, take necessary safety measures and to be documented.
  • The volume of back filling for the designated area to be estimated and plan accordingly before the actual work starts and always keep extra cushion of 25 -30 % quantity to accommodate loose earth volume to compacted earth volume.
Use Monkey jump compactor of earth in confined areas
Layer by layer compaction process using 3 ton roller for larger areas after completion of backfilling
Layer by Layer compaction process using 1 ton vibro roller
Compaction testing
Using plate vibrator for compaction inside large footings after completion of backfilling

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