Types of construction excavation

Whether we are in the trench digging or hauling away excess oil, North Construction takes the needed precautions and protective systems very seriously. For almost three decades, companies seeking expert excavation services in the Lower Mainland and across B.C. have been turning to North Construction.

When it comes to excavation, North Construction has the expertise and experience needed to take on the challenging terrain and sensitive construction projects we are known for. Any construction project has challenges but becomes more difficult when excavation is factored in. When you move organic material and rocks or dig a hole, you impact the surrounding environment. You need to have a well-thought-out plan and the right excavating machinery on-site to meet the project’s requirements safely.

What is excavation

Excavation is a crucial construction process involving removing earth, rock, or other materials from a site to create space for building structures, foundations, or other construction purposes.

There are several types of excavation used in construction:

Trench excavation

Typically used for the installation of utilities such as pipes, cables, or conduits, trenches are usually deeper than they are wide.

Open excavations

This type involves the removal of material from an area to create an open space, often used for foundations, basements, or for landscaping purposes.

Borrow excavation

When suitable material is not available for on-site construction, excavating material from an off-site location may be necessary and transporting it to the construction site. This is known as borrow excavation.


This type of excavation is used to remove material from underwater areas like rivers, lakes, or coastlines, create channels and harbours, or recover valuable materials.

Cut and fill excavation

This involves cutting into a higher elevation and using the excavated material to fill a lower-lying area. This technique is used to level the ground or to create embankments.

Strip excavation

This technique involves the removal of a layer of soil or rock to expose a more suitable material for construction or mining purposes. It’s often used in mining operations.

Topsoil Excavation

Before construction starts, the top layer of soil containing organic material and vegetation may need to be removed to reach the suitable subsoil.

Rock excavation

When the construction site contains large amounts of solid rock, specialized techniques and equipment are used to break and remove it.

Muck excavation

This involves the removal of soft, wet, and unstable soil or organic material, which is often challenging due to its unstable nature.

Drilled shafts or piles

Commonly used in bridge construction and high-rise buildings, this type of excavation involves drilling deep holes into the ground to create a stable foundation for structures.

Tunnel excavation

For transportation like Skytrain systems or utilities such as sewer systems, tunnel excavation means creating stable underground passages.

The choice of excavation type depends on various factors, including the type of construction, soil conditions, location, environmental considerations, and the equipment available. It’s important to note that excavation work can be hazardous and should only be performed by trained professionals following safety protocols and regulations.

North Construction is a trusted construction company with decades of excavation experience. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help you with your project.