Understanding the importance of site prep

Understanding the importance of site prep

When it comes to site construction of any kind, from small backyard gardens to enormous projects the size of football fields, the key to its success is diligent and strategic site preparation. In the construction world, site prep is generally defined as the introductory work required in getting a location set for building or development. This first step in construction is critical, just as a new home needs a strong foundation.

Site prep includes a dynamic range of activity such as clearing a lot of foliage, demolition, excavation, and stabilization. This process ensures a safe and stable base, whether the site will host a soaring office building, convenience store, sports complex, or residential neighborhood.

What is involved in site prep?

Many people think site prep is a tedious and complex chore, and they’re not wrong. It can definitely seem overwhelming at times and a significant amount of coordination is required. However, the process fits ideally with some people’s skill sets and the overall success of a project starts with proper site preparation. Doing it right can also save money. With these details in mind, let’s look at some important elements of site prep:

Select location and building elevation

This step seems obvious—you can choose where your building will go but there’s more to it. Consider the flow of workers and quantity and size of equipment when designing the entrance road or driveway. Elevation is also critical, as it has a direct impact on drainage.

Plan ahead to accommodate delivery of materials, road width, turning radius for semis, power line location, and existing trees.

Safety first

This is an age-old adage in the construction field but remains the number one priority. Builders should always value safety and take steps to ensure it happens. Some key points to realize include the presence of a safety manager, a dedicated project manager, and risk insurance.

Soil testing

Most building projects, especially large commercial structures, require thorough soil testing to verify ground strength. Some soils are not strong enough to endure construction while others are like concrete. Soil needing a little help to “beef up” will be amended with additional targeted material.

Erosion control and land clearing

Nearly every building site requires a written plan outlining measures to prevent erosion and storm water pollution during construction. The plan must be implemented prior to site prep. With erosion control in place, the site is cleared of trees, existing buildings, and any underground infrastructure. When this is complete, let the construction begin.