What should I prepare for civil engineering

Prepare the construction site - what to look for before construction

Terrain survey

If a survey plan with a height grid is not available, the construction company should, in agreement with the client, carry out an inventory of the site area before the start of the earthworks. In general, the survey is carried out with a grid of 10 x 10 m. This recording is also the binding basis for the determination of quantities and billing of the earthworks.

Terrain staking out and surveying

The setting out of the fixed height points as well as the measurement of the building should be done by a geometer or this is prescribed in many building codes. The measurement by a geometer ensures the correct position and height of the structure.

If the soil appraisal or the test boreholes do not give any clear information about the soil condition (e.g. if difficult or changing soil conditions exist), test digs, so-called “exploration pits”, can also be arranged by the soil appraiser for more detailed exploration. These digs are usually carried out by the excavation company using an excavator.

Clearance permit

There are often trees and bushes in the construction area. These have to be felled or cleared. The difference between tree and shrub results from the trunk diameter measured at a height of 1.0 m above the ground.

When felling trees, the respective state tree protection laws must be observed, which provide for appropriate regulations (e.g. replacement plantings) depending on the type of tree, trunk circumference and size. The relevant clarifications with the responsible bodies should have long been carried out by the planner and the necessary permits should be available and legally binding.

Tree protection

If trees are to be preserved on the property and if they are in the area of ​​the construction work (storage, manipulation and transport areas), they must be protected. This is usually done by moving the trunks with wooden posts or something similar.

It should be noted that this is not enough. The root area of ​​a tree corresponds to the crown diameter. It must therefore also be ensured that the soil in this area is breathable and water-absorbent and that no toxic substances penetrate the soil.


If the property is green, the approx. 30 cm thick upper layer is called topsoil. This layer is ecologically very valuable and is not removed together with the excavated material. This layer is removed separately if there is enough space on the property and should be reapplied later.

Earth balance

In good time before the earthworks are carried out, the construction company must present the extent of earth movements, seductions, temporary storage and backfilling in the form of an earth balance. There is still the possibility of influencing the amount of excavated material to be disposed of, so that not too much material is transported away from the construction site, which is e.g. suitable for backfilling (and the builder saves the unnecessary purchase of backfilling material).

If there are changes in the earth balance during the earthworks, the construction company must inform the client of this and have it approved. Make sure that these regulations are included in the contract basis with the construction company in this form!


The top soil layer, the “humus” or topsoil, should be removed separately and temporarily stored on the property until it is re-used. This measure is extremely useful, as new, high-quality humus is relatively expensive!