Erosion is one of the leading issues today, affecting land use, plant growth, and more importantly, construction sites. According to a new study, nearly $8 million economic losses can be attributed to erosion. Understanding construction erosion in full detail is important for making sure your next project will remain structurally sound and safe.
Construction erosion is a term used to describe the impact of construction on the environment. Man-made structures such as roads, buildings, and bridges have led to a large amount of soil erosion in the U.S. and around the world. Aftereffects such as reduced plant growth and large sediment deposits in rivers or lakes have become unfortunate realities in the construction industry. That being said, it’s important for your crew to start taking the necessary steps to reduce erosion at your worksite.
Types of Erosion
There are two primary types of erosion that can affect the topsoil found on construction sites or nearby areas of large worksites.
- Wind Erosion – More severe during times of drought or in arid areas such as the Great Plains, wind erosion is characterized by wind movement. In a process described as a deflation, movement in the air picks up soil particles and transfers them to another location. While construction crews may not have any control over the wind, large amounts of dust and digging spots contribute to erosion.
- Water Erosion – Observed in a number of forms, water erosion occurs when any water source moves the soil from one place to another. From rainfall to river currents, water has a powerful effect on sediment transport. For construction sites to remain protected, it’s important to have a water control solution you can trust.
Ways to Minimize Erosion
There are a number of potential problems to consider in regard to erosion. When the first layer of dirt and vegetation, or ground cover, disappear, more layers of the earth are uncovered. This causes problems for farmers, property owners, and the foundation of many buildings.
Depending on your situation and the specific needs of your project, there are a number of ways to help you prevent erosion, such as:
- Water diversion – Formulate a plan to guard against water and reroute running water in another direction affecting your worksite.
- Sediment control – Use control methods such as silt fencing, filter socks, or straw wattles to manage the soil that collects during water flow.
- Moderate excavation – Minimize or split your project into phases for excavation so that you can limit the size of your worksite.
Pro Tip: For projects located near water bodies, install an Aqua-Barrier inflatable cofferdam to reduce water passing through your worksite.
Protecting Your Construction Projects
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, erosion and sediment damages occur both on and off the construction site, ultimately affecting every member in society. As you plan your next construction project, make sure you are adequately prepared to prevent soil erosion around you. The foundation of your structure and responsibility to the environment depends on it.
Connect with our salesmen to find an erosion and sediment control solution designed to your specifications.
Cofferdams, barriers to hold water back from a dewatered construction site, are a critical part of many construction projects. Traditional cofferdams made of wood and steel have dominated this part of the construction industry for years. The introduction of inflatable cofferdams, which can be filled with water conveniently available at these construction sites, presents a challenge to the traditional approach. While both have their pros and cons, inflatable cofferdams seem to be a better idea than steel.
Why are Inflatable Cofferdams Better?
Inflatable cofferdams offer several advantages over their traditional steel counterparts. A construction company interested in saving time and landing more jobs should invest in inflatable cofferdams to help their business. Several key advantages of inflatable barriers include:
- Faster installation
- Doesn’t Disturb the Eco-System
- Easy to combine
1) Faster Installation
Did you know that up to 100 linear feet of a water-filled cofferdam could be installed in roughly 2-3 hours? Not only does this mean the job as a whole requires less time, but it also gives your company an advantage over other bidders for the job. If you can set up and complete the job faster than your competitors, you are far more likely to win the work contract.
2) Doesn’t Disturb the Eco-System
Inflatable cofferdams are environmentally friendly compared to other dewatering methods. The flexible material that the Aqua-Barrier® is made from can conform to irregular surfaces and various elevations. Furthermore, many dewatering solutions such as sheet pile cause turbidity which disturbs the natural environment; while Aqua-Barriers® do not. The water filled bladder dams can be temporarily used to store water for your construction site without bringing any foreign materials to your worksite. This is essential for protecting the plants and animals in the underwater eco-system.
Pro Tip: Inflatable cofferdams are made of a highly durable and flexible material, which makes them far more sturdy and reliable than their rigid steel counterparts.
3) Easy to Combine
Steel cofferdams can make expanding or reshaping your workspace difficult. Your crew has to dig up any concrete foundation and haul heavy building materials around. Worse, they have to dedicate valuable work time to bringing in more materials to expand the wall. Inflatable cofferdams make this process much easier. Because of their lighter material, inflatable barriers are easily moved or laid end-to-end in a short amount of time. The new or relocated dams can then be refilled as you dewater the work area again. The whole process can be completed in less time.
Choosing the Best Construction Supplies
When you shop for construction site materials, your biggest concerns are likely cost, efficiency, environmental protection, and safety. A high-quality inflatable cofferdam can easily provide you the best value in all of those categories. Choose a model that works best for your projects.
Want to learn more about your choices in the cofferdam market? Connect with other construction professionals and see what their favorites are.
Construction projects, as you know, have many different types of variables that affect project completion. Many being completely out of your control (i.e. the weather). To compensate for this, it’s essential for construction managers to keep looking for ways to save money without compromising quality.
Streamlining Construction Projects
As the project manager, you keep a careful eye on project status, progress, and delays. You know your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and you know what it takes to get the job done. The following essential tips will help you streamline your construction projects, saving you money over time.
Contribute to every stage of planning.
While you may not have a background in engineering, you certainly have project experience. Reality often supersedes theory and planning. Make sure you are there at every stage of planning to contribute your insight and experience. Having seen countless projects to completion, you are bound to have ideas and workarounds for many issues that will arise.
Take advantage of the latest technologies.
Keep yourself up to date with the latest in construction technology and trends. There are technologies and products in development constantly that are designed to save you time and money. Put them to use! A great example is Hydrological Solutions’ Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam and how its internal Baffle System locks into place when it’s exposed to uneven water pressure, keeping at least 25% freeboard for stability. Technology is your friend. Don’t pass up an opportunity to improve your processes and save time and money.
Mind the numbers.
What is not measured cannot be improved. Pay attention to your productivity metrics, materials, daily progress, and individual worker stats. There are many factors that affect productivity. Employee morale is a huge one. Weather, hazardous job sites, improper or insufficient tools and equipment, and having too many or too few workers at the job site are some others. Some things you can control, others you cannot. Sometimes you can’t get around having to work overtime, for example. By minding your productivity numbers, you will be able to spot issues and hangups early on, prevent some, and keep your projects moving along as efficiently as possible.
Use products that will save you time and money.
You may have to do a little research, but choosing products that save you time and money makes a considerable impact on your project costs. Pay attention to the labor, installation time, cost, removal time, and any other factors that affect project speed and cost efficiency. For example, the Aqua-Barrier® system saves you both time and money on projects that require dewatering. Make time and money saving products a priority in your projects.
Look for opportunities in routine tasks.
Routine tasks like dewatering your worksite are a great opportunity to cut costs because of the frequency with which you must execute them. Analyze the many pieces and phases of your construction projects and look for ways to save time on routine tasks. Utilize products and technology to make them more efficient, more affordable, and more effective.
A Product That Saves You Time and Money.
The Aqua-Barrier® is a water-inflated cofferdam that is quick and easy to deploy, easy to use, and easy to remove. Use fewer man hours than traditional dewatering solutions. Shave time off your dewatering process. Improve your bottom line with the Aqua-Barrier®.
Improve Your Project Efficiency
Yours is the task of keeping everyone on task, your project as close to on schedule as possible and completed on time. Make it easier on yourself by finding ways to improve efficiency and lower your costs. A little research will go a long way. Use this guide on streamlining construction projects as a starting point. Contact Us to learn more about how Aqua-Barrier® could save you both time and money and for other dewatering resources.