The joy of Earthworks Engineering

EarthworksWe’re very much looking forward to getting our teeth into the Second Edition of Neil Trenter’s seminal Earthworks: A guide which has been updated by Paul Novak and Peter Gilbert. The revision brings the original edition into line with Eurocode 7 and BS6031:2009 but as stated in the preface to the second edition “since earthworks remains as much art as it is science we have avoided attempting to make the second edition of this book a servant to those standards. Our main aspiration has been to prepare a book that will be useful to those involved with the field of earthworks”. Here at AGEC, we couldn’t agree more with that sentiment.

We’ve been involved in Earthworks projects since our company was founded 15 years ago. In that time we designed and managed thousands of kilometres of highway and railway construction, particularly in Ireland. We’ve managed to hold onto that expertise throughout the global economic downturn and we retain the basic skills of good earthworks engineering (lost to some in the brain-drain that followed the downturn). Skills such as:

  • A deep understanding of soils under compaction
  • Fill material design
  • Cut-and-fill diagrams
  • Mass haul alignments
  • Expertise in cutting stability and embankment design

We agree with the authors of this second edition that the subject of earthworks is special and that earthworks elements shouldn’t be dealt with by engineers with little or no background in earthworks engineering despite perceived simplicity. The number and frequency of claims and contractual disputes on highways projects is testament to this.

At AGEC, we’ll continue to retain, nurture and value these specialist skills as one of the founding touchstones of our company. Check out our numerous technical papers in our downloads section.