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What is a construction soil management plan and why you need one?
16th November 2020

What is a construction soil management plan and why you need one?

A construction soil management plan is a vital part of maintaining a soil’s quality and sustainability during building works. Quality soil is a valuable resource and should always be preserved even if it is not going to be retained for the site of the construction works as it can be sold for use in a landscaping project elsewhere.

Undertaking a construction project without such a plan to protect and preserve the soil runs a serious risk of damaging or contaminating the soil. Once it is damaged or contaminated, it cannot be used on the site or sold for use at another. This creates unnecessary waste which can be expensive to get rid of.

Here is a quick guide to construction soil management plans and what they should consist of.


Contents of a Construction Soil Management Plan

A good construction soil management plan should include a clear designation of responsibility for whoever will be supervising the soil management process throughout the entire construction project.

The plan itself should have a map describing all the areas containing topsoil and subsoil types, with the areas to be stripped clearly marked. The plan should also include the methods that will be applied to strip and stockpile the soil, as well as any re-spreading and soil improvement measures that will be undertaken afterwards.

All haul routes and vehicular movements on site should be mapped out and tracked, with supervision assigned to ensure there are no off-route journeys by heavy equipment that will damage the topsoil and subsoil.

Each and every soil stockpile should have its location as well as the content of the soil in each location clearly identified. There should also be schedules of volumes for each soil type and location.


Stripping Topsoil and Subsoil

It is very important to strip the topsoil from all areas likely to be disturbed by the building works, especially areas that will serve as routes for vehicles and other heavy machinery.

Subsoil doesn’t necessarily have to be stripped as it is not as fertile as topsoil, but it is still important to protect as it serves the role of storing and transmitting water for the topsoil. Subsoil on haul routes should definitely be stripped, but areas with only light construction activity might be fine with a simple ground covering to protect it from trampling and contamination.

The best practice for stripping soil includes only using tracked machinery and only undertaking the task during dry conditions, preferably when the soil has had plenty of time to completely dry out itself.


Stockpiling Soil

There should be a marked out area specifically for the storage and stockpiling of soil, with topsoil and subsoil kept distinctly apart. These areas must be protected from construction activities, warded off by the likes of barrier tape or fences and warning signs.

If the construction site doesn't have the required space to stockpile a ton of topsoil, then an alternative option is to use a sustainable place off-site. The soil can be stored securely and then returned upon completion of the building works, though this will obviously incur additional costs.


If you require bulk soil or topsoil products such as a ton of topsoil , then contact Springbridge via our website or call today on 0845 370 1921 for more information.