Earthwork excavation important terms and technical details

Deadmen or Tell Tales: Mounds of earth left undisturbed in pits dug out for borrowing earth
Burjis: Short pillars of brick/ stone having top surface finished with cement plaster for marking etc.
Formation or Profile: Final shape of the ground after excavation or filling up.
Foul condition: Filthy and unhygienic conditions where physical movements are hampered such as soil mixed with sewage or night soil.
Lead : All distances shall be measured over the shortest practical route and not necessarily the route actually taken. Route other than shortest practical route may be considered in cases of unavoidable circumstances and approved by Engineer-in-charge along with reasons in writing.Carriage by manual labour shall be reckoned in units of 50 metres or part thereof. Carriage by animal and mechanical transport shall be reckoned in one km. unit. Distances of 0.5 km. or more shall be taken as 1 km. and distance of less than 0.5 km. shall be ignored. However, when the total lead is less than 0.5 km., it will not be ignored but paid for separately in successive stages of 50 metres subject to the condition that the rate worked on this basis does not exceed the rate for initial lead of 1 km. by mechanical/animal transport.
Lift: The vertical distance for removal with reference to the ground level. The excavation up to 1.5 metres depth below the ground level and depositing the excavated materials upto 1.5 metres above the ground level are included in the rate of earth work. Lifts inherent in the lead due to ground slope shall not be paid for.
Safety rules: Safety rules as laid down by the statutory authority and as provided in National Building Code (NBC) shall be followed.

  • All excavation operations manually or by mechanical means shall include excavation and ‘getting out’ the excavated materials. In case of excavation for trenches, basements, water tanks etc. ‘getting out’ shall include throwing the excavated materials at a distance of at least one metre or half the depth of excavation, whichever is more, clear off the edge of excavation. In all other cases ‘getting out’ shall include depositing the excavated materials as specified. The subsequent disposal of the excavated material shall be either stated as a separate item or included with the items of excavation stating lead.
  • During the excavation the natural drainage of the area shall be maintained. Excavation shall be done from top to bottom. Undermining or undercutting shall not be done.
  • In firm soils, the sides of the trenches shall be kept vertical upto a depth of 2 metres from the bottom. For greater depths, the excavation profiles shall be widened by allowing steps of 50 cms on either side after every 2 metres from the bottom. Alternatively, the excavation can be done so as to give slope of 1:4 (1 horizontal : 4 vertical). Where the soil is soft, loose or slushy, the width of steps shall be suitably increased or sides sloped or the soil shored up as directed by the Engineer-in- Charge. It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to take complete instructions in writing from the Engineer-in-Charge regarding the stepping , sloping or shoring to be done for excavation deeper than 2 metres.
  • The excavation shall be done true to levels, slope, shape and pattern indicated by the Engineer-in- Charge. Only the excavation shown on the drawings with additional allowances for centering and shuttering or as required by the Engineer-in-Charge shall be measured and recorded for payment.
  • In case of excavation for foundation in trenches or over areas, the bed of excavation shall be to the correct level or slope and consolidated by watering and ramming. If the excavation for foundation is done to a depth greater than that shown in the drawings or as required by the Engineer-in-Charge, the excess depth shall be made good by the contractor at his own cost with the concrete of the mix used for levelling/ bed concrete for foundations. Soft/defective spots at the bed of the foundations shall be dug out and filled with concrete (to be paid separately) as directed by the Engineer-in-Charge.
  • While carrying out the excavation for drain work care shall be taken to cut the side and bottom to the required shape, slope and gradient. The surface shall then be properly dressed. If the excavation is done to a depth greater than that shown on the drawing or as required by the Engineer-in-Charge, the excess depth shall be made good by the contractor at his own cost with stiff clay puddle at places where the drains are required to be pitched and with ordinary earth, properly watered and rammed, where the drains are not required to be pitched. In case the drain is required is to be pitched, the back filling with clay puddle, if required, shall be done simultaneously as the pitching work proceeds. The brick pitched storm water drains should be avoided as far as possible in filled-up areas and loose soils.
  • In all other cases where the excavation is taken deeper by the contractor, it shall be brought to the required level by the contractor at his own cost by filling in with earth duly watered, consolidated and rammed.
  • In case the excavation is done wider than that shown on the drawings or as required by the Engineer-in-Charge, additional filling wherever required on the account shall be done by the contractor at his own cost.
  • The excavation shall be done manually or by mechanical means as directed by Engineer-in-charge considering feasibility, urgency of work, availability of labour /mechanical equipments and other factors involved. Contractor shall ensure every safety measures for the workers. Neither any deduction will be made nor any extra payment will be made on this account.