What is cut and fill earthworks?

Cutting and filling is the process of excavating earth from part A of a job and placing that earth at part B to make ground more level. A ‘cut’ is made when earth is cut from above the desired cut level and a ‘fill’ is when earth is used to fill the lower parts of the site to achieve the desired cut level. Cutting and filling is a common technique used to create an even ground surface. It is most commonly used in preparation of house foundations.

Like any construction activity, cutting and filling land carries risk. Particularly when the land being filled is going to be used for your house foundations. Ensuring you use experienced earthmoving specialists is crucial in forming a solid foundation for your project.  Once earth is cut, the fil must be placed in accordance with Australian standards to achieve desired compaction.  In many cases of fill greater than 300mm in depth, concrete piers and/or screw piles will be used by the builder.  These assist to hold the slab in place if the ground happens to move slightly as it settles further with the changes in moisture content.

What sort of equipment is used?

Cutting and filling is normally carried out using earth moving equipment. In our case this is mainly 12, 13 and 20 tonne excavators. Depending on the compaction requirements of your project, a drum or compaction wheel may be needed.  In engineered fill scenarios, the fill will need to be tested by a qualified geotechnical engineer who will sign off that the placed fill meets all requirements necessary for the project to continue.

In summary – what Is Cut and Fill?

  • Cut: Earth that is removed from an area is considered “cut” or excavated earth.
  • Fill: Earth that is brought into an area is considered “fill” or placed and compacted earth.
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