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Engineering Standard

SAES-A-114 30 September 2014
Excavation and Backfill
Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards
Table of Contents

1 Scope............................................................. 2
2 Conflicts and Deviations................................. 2
3 References..................................................... 2
4 Definitions...................................................... 4
5 General.......................................................... 6
6 Fill and Backfill............................................. 12
7 Excavation................................................... 21

APPENDIX - Summary of Fill Placement
and Compaction Requirements……… 24

Previous Issue: 23 February 2010 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019
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Primary contact: Grosch, Jonathan Joseph on +966-13-8809690

Copyright©Saudi Aramco 2014. All rights reserved.

Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114
Issue Date: 30 September 2014
Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill

1 Scope

This Engineering Standard defines the requirements for excavation, placement,
compaction, inspection, and management of earth and rock materials during
construction and/or maintenance.

2 Conflicts and Deviations

2.1 Any conflicts between this Specification and other applicable Saudi Aramco
Materials System Specifications (SAMSSs), Engineering Standards (SAESs),
Standard Drawings (SASDs) or industry standards, codes, and forms shall be
resolved in writing by Saudi Aramco through the Manager, Consulting Services
Department.

2.2 Direct all requests to deviate from this Specification in writing to the Company
Representative, who shall follow internal company procedure SAEP-302 and
forward such requests to the Manager, Consulting Services Department of Saudi
Aramco, Dhahran.

3 References

The selection of material and equipment, and the design, construction, maintenance, and
repair of equipment and facilities covered by this Standard shall comply with the latest
edition of the references listed below, unless otherwise noted.

3.1 Saudi Aramco References

Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure
SAEP-302 Instructions for Obtaining a Waiver of a Mandatory
Saudi Aramco Engineering Requirement

Saudi Aramco Engineering Standards
SAES-A-100 Survey Coordinates, Datum's and Data Formats
SAES-A-113 Geotechnical Engineering Requirements
SAES-L-450 Construction of on-Land and Near-Shore Pipelines
SAES-L-460 Pipeline Crossings under Roads and Railroads
SAES-Q-001 Criteria for Design and Construction of Concrete
Structures
SAES-Q-006 Asphalt and Sulfur Extended Asphalt Concrete Paving

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200 (75-um) Sieve ASTM D1556 Standard Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Sand-Cone Method ASTM D1557 Standard Test Method for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort 56.2 Industry Codes and Standards American Concrete Institute (ACI) ACI 229R Controlled Low-Strength Materials American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM C136 Standard Test Method for Sieve Analysis of Fine and Coarse Aggregates ASTM D422 Standard Test Method for Particle-Size Analysis of Soils ASTM D1140 Standard Test Method for Amount of Material in Soils Finer than the No. 06-002-2008 Excavations and Shoring 3.000 ft-lbf/ft³ (2.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill SAES-Q-007 Foundations and Supporting Structures for Heavy Machinery SAES-P-104 Wiring Methods and Materials SAES-S-070 Installation of Utility Piping Systems Saudi Aramco General Instructions GI-1021.700 KN. Reinstatement and Traffic Controls Saudi Aramco Manuals Construction Safety Manual Blasting Manual Saudi Aramco Safety Management Guide Guide No.000 Street and Road Closure: Excavation.M/M³) ASTM D2167 Standard Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Rubber Balloon Method ASTM D2487 Standard Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System) Page 3 of 25 .

either by incorporation or by reference.25 mm) 100 No. 10 (2. Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index of Soils ASTM D5777 Standard Guide for Using the Seismic Refraction Method for Subsurface Investigation ASTM D6938 Standard Test Methods for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth) ASTM D7380 Standard Test Method for Soil Compaction Determination at Shallow Depths Using 5-lb (2.3 kg) Dynamic Cone Penetrometer ASTM D7830/ Standard Test Method for In-Place Density D7830M (Unit Weight) and Water Content of Soil Using an Electromagnetic Soil Density Gauge 4 Definitions Brackish Water: Water with Total Dissolved Solids of 10.100 No.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill ASTM D2937 Standard Test Method for Density of Soil in Place by the Drive-Cylinder Method ASTM D4253 Standard Test Method for Maximum Index Density and Unit Weight of Soils Using a Vibratory Table ASTM D4254 Standard Test Method for Minimum Index Density and Unit Weight of Soils and Calculation of Relative Density ASTM D4318 Standard Test Method for Liquid Limit. Clean Sand: Soil meeting the following gradation containing less than 3% weight of organic material or clay: Sieve Size Percent Passing ¼ in (6. Page 4 of 25 . Contract or Contract Documents: Any and all documents. 200 (0. which Saudi Aramco has transmitted or otherwise communicated.000 ppm or more.00 mm) 90 . including design drawings.075 mm) 10 or less Company Representative: Saudi Aramco's authorized representative with overall authority and responsibility for the project. and made part of the legal contract or purchase order agreement between Saudi Aramco and the Contractor.

and all table-top special purpose equipment. or a mixture of these constituents meeting the requirements in Section 6.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill Contractor: The party responsible for performing excavation and backfill.074 mm). 16 sieve (1. Rock: “Rock” may refer to anything from boulder-size individual pieces to hard. Hard Rock: Rock that cannot be excavated using typical excavation equipment. loose silty sand and possibly clay. See Rock Excavation. reciprocating machinery greater than 200 horsepower. Select Fill Material: Gravel. Soft Rock: Weak and fractured rock formations that can be excavated using typical excavation equipment. 200 sieve (0. Section 7. General Fill Material: Inorganic soil or rock meeting the requirements in Section 6. clay. Marl: is a wide variety of calcareous soil materials found in Saudi Arabia which may vary from clay to gravel sizes and often include cobble and boulder sized pieces. intact bedrock.5 for classification of rock by excavation methods.1. self-compacting.2.5. Sabkha: is a saline (generally coastal) deposit generally consisting of saturated. Page 5 of 25 .18 mm) and usually containing less than 10% soil particles passing the No. See section 7. cementitious material used primarily as a backfill in place of compacted fill. Fill Material: See General Fill Material. Structural Fill: Select Fill Material as per Section 6.1. including work executed through the use of sub-contractors Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM): A flowable. See Normal Excavation. Section 7. or silt. Vibrating or Heavy Machinery: Centrifugal rotating machinery greater than 500 horsepower. Stable Rock: Natural solid mineral matter that can be excavated with vertical sides and remain intact while exposed.1. Dune Sand: Wind-deposited sand consisting of relatively single-sized particles generally passing the No.2.5. It is usually identified by a rock name such as limestone or sandstone.1. sand.

Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 5 General 5. 5.1.1 The Contractor's quality control testing requirements shall be performed by either a Saudi Aramco-approved independent testing agency or by the Contractor's own laboratory.1 Quality Control The Contractor shall institute a quality control program that will verify or ensure that the work performed under the Contract meets the requirements of this Standard and the Contract Documents. Reports shall be submitted as follows: 5. including all laboratory and field test logs and comments.1. 5.2.2.4 and all seismic refraction testing required in Section 7. any inspection. Page 6 of 25 . 5. During the audit. approved by the Saudi Aramco Inspection Department. test reports. Field test reports shall include density and moisture content test logs indicating location by coordinates and elevation as per SAES-A-100.2 A summary report with test logs shall be submitted weekly or as required by Saudi Aramco.3 If testing and/or inspection is done by Saudi Aramco.2 Submittals The Contractor shall be responsible for transmitting the following submittals to the Saudi Aramco Company Representative: 5.2 All required laboratory and field acceptance tests required in Section 6.1.1.2. Should it be later found that some work has been completed not in compliance with this Standard. Inspection & Testing Agency 5. it shall remain the Contractor's responsibility to repair or reconstruct deficient work until specifications are met at no cost to Saudi Aramco.5 shall be performed by a Saudi Aramco-approved independent testing agency.1 Compaction Test Reports. Saudi Aramco shall have access to all facilities and records of the Contractor for the purpose of conducting performance inspection/audits. this does not relieve the Contractor of the responsibility to meet all requirements of this Standard.1. 5. and/or engineering analyses and calculations associated with the scope of work shall be furnished upon request.1 Daily “pass” or “fail” reports.

Page 7 of 25 . including a Pre-Excavation checklist. sketches and/or detail along with calculations.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 5. Chloride (Cl-) and Sulfate (SO4) contents according to SAES-Q-001. foundations or underground utilities. c) Provide plans.2. the Contractor shall submit proposed methods and details to the Saudi Aramco Company Representative for review and approval. as per the Saudi Aramco Construction Safety Manual and Safety Management Guide 06- 002-2008 shall be submitted prior to beginning excavation. 5. If an Excavation Plan is required and shoring is used. Compaction water shall be tested for Total Dissolved Solids.5 Dewatering Plan. Commentary Note: A geotechnical investigation as per SAES-A-113 is required for excavation depths greater than 6m.2. If dewatering of an excavation is required. the Contractor’s Excavation Plan shall: a) Describe the materials and shoring system to be used. d) Indicate the sequence and method of shoring installation and removal. shall meet the minimum requirements established by the Construction Safety Manual and Saudi Aramco Safety Management Guide 06-002- 2008. All excavations. 5.2.3 A complete record of all test logs and comments for permanent project records shall be submitted at earthwork completion.2 Fill Materials and Water Test Reports.3 Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM) mix design and 28-day compressive strength shall be submitted for approval prior to use on the site. Consulting Services Department review of the Excavation Plan is required if excavation depth is greater than 6 m or if the Plan includes support or protection for existing structures. including shoring and sheeting materials and systems. b) Indicate whether or not any components will remain after filling or backfilling. 5.2. 5.1.4 Excavation Plan. Sources and test results of all fill materials and compaction water shall be submitted for approval prior to beginning fill operations.2. before beginning dewatering and excavation.

forming protective swales. pumping.1 Contaminated Soils Known contaminated soils within the construction limits shall be managed in accordance with a contaminated soil management plan provided by Saudi Aramco prior to the start of excavation. 5. The adequacy of the dust control shall be determined by the Saudi Aramco Company Representative.2.3 Environmental 5. an approved dewatering system shall be installed and operated when necessary to lower the groundwater.4. or other approved measures.3.1 All temporary drainage and dewatering methods and disposal of water are subject to approval by Saudi Aramco. 5.4 Drainage and Dewatering A Dewatering Plan shall be submitted to the Saudi Aramco Company Representative as per Section 5.3. 5.3.4.3 Surface water shall be prevented from flowing into excavations by ditching.4.2 Erosion/Sediment Control The Contractor shall ensure that all slopes and other areas subject to erosion shall be maintained using temporary erosion and sediment control measures during construction or until relieved by the Saudi Aramco Company Representative or until permanent measures are completed and functioning in a satisfactory manner. 5.5. trenching.4. 5. the Contractor shall stop work and notify the Saudi Aramco Company Representative immediately. prior to excavation.4 If required in the contract documents. 5.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 5. 5.3 Dust Control The Contractor shall employ dust control measures during construction. The dewatering system shall be engineered based on a soil and groundwater properties from a geotechnical investigation conducted as per SAES-A-113. Ponding of water on placed fill or within excavations shall not be allowed.2 The Contractor shall employ temporary drainage measures during construction. If unexpected soil contamination is encountered during the work. Page 8 of 25 .

5. 5. diesel.2. 5. including:  Provision of safe entry and exit.  Precautions for Hazardous Atmospheres and Confined Spaces.  Provision and maintenance of edge protection. guardrails.1. shoring.1 All necessary permits must be obtained from Saudi Aramco prior to performing any earthwork.5.5 All diverted and pumped water shall flow to specified collection areas and shall be disposed of as directed by the Saudi Aramco Company Representative. Page 9 of 25 .  Protection against sidewall cave-in.5 Safety and Protection The Contractor shall place and maintain in good condition temporary fences.  Protection of underground utilities and installations.6 Disposal of drainage water and groundwater contaminated with oil. solvents and/or other chemicals shall be approved by the Environmental Protection Department. Shoring shall be installed or the sides shall be sloped or benched when any excavation or trench reaches a depth of 1. 5. and fixed lighting. 5.4. gasoline. lights.2 m or when soil banks are greater than 1.4. All excavation and trenching shall be done in accordance with Saudi Aramco safety requirements including.2 Excavation Safety An Excavation Plan shall be submitted to the Saudi Aramco Company Representative as per Section 5.5. the Saudi Aramco Construction Safety Manual and Safety Management Guide 06- 002-2008. and other protective measures required for the safety of personnel and the premises as described in the Saudi Aramco Construction Safety Manual.1.2 All rock blasting shall follow the procedures in the Saudi Aramco Blasting Manual. 5. barricades.5 m. Excavations for foundations and other underground installations shall not be used as temporary drainage ditches. but not limited to. barricades.5.1 Required Permits and Procedures 5.4.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 5. clearances. bracing.

 Provision of proper inspection frequency.4. 5.5.5. Unless otherwise specified.2 Any construction or maintenance work which restricts the full use of a pedestrian or vehicular roadway shall comply with GI-1021. electrical and duct banks) or sidewalks shall use bracing and shoring to protect those installations during construction.000. or endangers property. is in place prior to the start of work or the excavation is in stable rock.3 Hazard Mitigation 5. Shoring may be left in-place if so indicated in the approved Excavation Plan. protection is required if the excavation will intersect a 45 degree plane Page 10 of 25 . 5. Street and Road Closure: Excavation. 5.5. approved as part of the Excavation Plan. or adversely affects the safety.4 Protection of Existing Facilities 5. piping. 5.4.5.. use or stability of a roadway or drainage channel.3 Excavations adjacent to existing underground installations (e.1 Whenever Saudi Aramco determines that any excavation or embankment or fill which was created by a Contractor and which is a hazard to life and limb. 5.3.4. manholes.2 No excavation is permitted under existing foundations. any damage by the Contractor during performance of the work shall be repaired or replaced by the Contractor to the satisfaction of the Saudi Aramco Company Representative at no cost to Saudi Aramco.1 The Contractor shall be responsible for avoiding damage to all existing facilities.5. In general.3. the responsible Contractor shall immediately repair or eliminate such excavation or embankment so as to eliminate the hazard. Excavations are not allowed to intersect a 45 degree plane extending downward from the bottom edge of existing foundations unless an engineered support system.5.g.  Proper backfilling and removal of shoring.5. Reinstatement and Traffic Controls.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill Commentary Note: Specific requirements are given in Saudi Aramco Safety Management Guide 06-002-2008.

6 Clean Up 5. 5.1 Soil that is spilled or washed onto paved areas or streets shall be removed daily or as directed by the Saudi Aramco Company Representative. Unless otherwise specified. Page 11 of 25 . shall be carefully maintained during excavation.5.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill extending downward from the bottom of the structure or utility to be protected. property markers.5 All reference points.000. 5.6 The Contractor shall be responsible for preserving and avoiding damage to trees.6. compaction and earthwork.2 as applicable. 5. 5.5. The Contractor shall provide measures to prevent recurrence.g.3. bench marks.3. pipes.5. shrubs.4. and all other vegetation in the areas beyond the designated excavation area. Street and Road Closure: Excavation. Fill or backfill of the excavation must meet the compaction requirements in sections 6. light poles or tower foundations) shall be properly braced whenever an excavation is within the passive pressure zone (generally a distance of 1. Reinstatement and Traffic Controls.5.6. 5. etc.2 Soil that is spilled or washed into drains. monuments..5 times the embedment depth of the foundation).5.. or ditches or onto adjacent sites shall be removed daily. gutters. damage to a reference point by the Contractor during performance of the work shall be reported to Saudi Aramco and repaired or replaced by the Contractor to the satisfaction of the Saudi Aramco Company Representative at no cost to Saudi Aramco.5. backfilling.4 Structures that require passive soil pressure for stability (e.6.5.4.5 Trenching through Roads and Pavements Reinstatement of roads and pavements after trenching shall comply with SAES-Q-006 and GI-1021.1 or 6.4.6. 5.

2 Select Fill Material 6. Page 12 of 25 . Storage or stockpiling of material shall not be permitted on a completed subgrade.3 and 6. 200 sieve.4 below or as recommended by a geotechnical report as per SAES-A-113.1.1.1 Fill and Backfill Materials Fill and backfill materials shall conform to the criteria in sections 6. Soils shall be classified per ASTM D2487.1. organic matter.1.1.1 Select Fill or ‘Structural Fill’ shall be composed only of inorganic material and shall have 100% passing the 5 cm (2 in) sieve and from 0 to 20% passing the No.1. 6.2. and shaped for proper drainage. 40 sieve shall have a maximum liquid limit of 35 and a maximum plasticity index of 12 per ASTM D4318.1.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 6 Fill and Backfill Requirements 6.1. Commentary Notes: Clean sand and dune sand may be used as Fill or Select Fill Material.3.3. All sources of supply shall be approved by Saudi Aramco. If sand is used as fill material.1. see Paragraphs 6.1. Cohesionless materials (sand or gravel) are recommended for Fill or Select Fill Material below the highest natural groundwater level.3. graded. trash.1. 200 sieve. 6. Stockpiles of cohesive soil shall be protected from freezing. Liquid limit and plastic limit tests are not required for select fill material with less than 15% passing the No.2 The portion of Select Fill material passing the No. sand and/or marl. 6.8. 6. whichever is less.2. 6.2 Fill material shall be free of frozen lumps. chunks of highly plastic clay (classified as CH as determined by ASTM D2487) or other unsatisfactory material.1. The maximum size of the fill material shall be one-half the lift thickness or 75 mm (3 inches).1 General Fill Material 6.5 and 6.1 General Fill Material shall consist of gravel. Stockpiles shall be placed.2.1. 6.

oil. etc. CLSM shall be in accordance with ACI 229R. Page 13 of 25 . 6.4 MPa (100 to 200 psi). 6.1.g.e. pretested using the actual raw materials and approved by the Company Representative before use on the project. 6.3 Controlled Low-Strength Material (CLSM) 6. In general.1.3.3 MPa (50 psi) or less can be excavated manually. alkalis. rock fill. 6.1.4 Other fill materials (e.1 CLSM or “flowable fill” may be substituted for either Select Fill Material or general Fill Material. lean concrete. such as backhoes. organic matter.3 The mix design shall be proportioned to produce a 28-day compressive strength between 0. Compressive strengths above or below this range may be approved by the Company Representative based on future excavation requirements.1 Water used for compaction of fill material shall be reasonably free of salts.1.1. Commentary Note: Per ACI 229R: The ability to excavate CLSM is an important consideration on many projects. or other deleterious substances.1. Mechanical equipment. CLSM with a compressive strength of 0.1. simple visual inspection only shall be required for field testing of CLSM.5 CLSM shall be allowed to harden a minimum of 6 hours prior to proceeding with construction over the CSLM.1.. are used for compressive strengths of 0.) may be used with the approval of the Chairman.. Geotechnical Standards Committee.5 Compaction Water 6. 6. CLSM is recommended where traditional compaction is difficult (i.3.1.1 MPa (300 psi).4 MPa (100 and 200 psi). Mixtures using fine sand or only fly ash as the aggregate filler have been excavated with a backhoe up to strengths of 2.7 and 1. acid.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 6.5.2 Unless otherwise specified.3. Mixtures using high quantities of coarse aggregate can be difficult to remove by hand.4 Unless otherwise specified. narrow or congested excavation backfill).3. where approved by the Company Representative. 6.7 to 1. even at low strengths.3.

trash. in horizontal plane or side slope.* C. 6.000 ppm or more (i. The Chloride (Cl-) and Sulfate (SO4) contents in the compaction water defines Exposure Type as detailed in SAES-Q-001 Table 1.3. There is no source of acceptable water available within 20 km. brackish water.2. 6.2 All observed soft spots or loose zones shall be compacted in- place or excavated to firm soil and replaced with fill material compacted to the specifications in Section 6.3 Areas.5. The fill or backfill will be below the surrounding area natural water table as determined by a geotechnical investigaton or monitoring wells. foundations.* B.1.3 Top 150 mm scarified and recompacted.2. Exceptions to Paragraph 6.3. 6.2. Pavement or Loads 6. seawater or water obtained from ground pits such as subkha water) is not allowed.3.1 Areas to receive fill.2. or pavement shall be free of organic material.1 The site shall be proof-rolled and inspected for soft spots or loose zones. * Verified by the Company Representative.2 Proper drainage shall be maintained at all time so that the site is free of standing water. shall be prepared for fill or loading as follows: 6. Proof roll may be defined as crossing the area with a heavy (minimum 10-ton weight) rubber-tire or steel- wheel roller.2: A.2.2.e.2. Commentary Note: Major projects and Programs which anticipate the use of brackish water or seawater shall include a holistic approach to concrete mix design requirements aligned with SAES-Q-001 Table 1 in the design planning stage. 6.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 6. or other unsuitable material. The estimated volume of available acceptable water within 20 km could not sustain the requirement of the project or Program. The density of the top 150 mm in these areas shall not be less than 90% of the Page 14 of 25 .2 Use of water with Total Dissolved Solids of 10.5.2.2 Preparation of Areas to Receive Fill. 6. Any soil that becomes saturated shall be removed completely or as specified by the Company Representative..3.1.

3.1.2 or as recommended in a geotechnical report as per SAES-A-113.3.2 Before placement of fill. 6.1 Select Fill Material shall be specified: 6.3.2.1 In no case shall compaction be allowed on slopes greater than 1 (V) to 5 (H). slabs-on-grade and pavements when fill is required to achieve final grade. 6.2. spread footings.2.3.2. Excavation of undisturbed soil and replacement with Select Fill Material shall not be performed except as noted in 6.3. Select Fill Material shall be specified for entire lifts and not interspersed with General Fill Material within the same lift. or terraces.2 For backfill which will be in contact with concrete or steel structures.1.1.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill maximum Modified Proctor density (ASTM D1557) or 70% relative density (ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254) for cohesionless freely draining soil.1 Within 0.3 All other areas not designated above or otherwise specified in as Select Fill Material in the design drawings may be filled or backfilled using General Fill Material.2 Construction of new slopes shall be accomplished by compacting horizontal fill layers at least 1 compactor width Page 15 of 25 . 6.6 m of the bottom elevation of foundations.2. the area to receive the fill shall be prepared in accordance with Section 6.3. 6. In addition: 6.3. at least 1 compactor width. In general.3. A series of horizontal benches.2 or 7. 6. should be cut into existing and natural slopes prior to adding new fill to key the new fill into the underlying soil. steps. Commentary Note: Foundations may be constructed directly on undisturbed soil.3 Fill Placement and Compaction Commentary Note: A summary of fill placement and compaction requirements is included as an Appendix to this Standard. 6.

3. plus or minus.3.4 Compacting shall begin only after the fill or backfill has been properly placed and the material to be compacted is at the proper moisture content.3.6 for use of a method statement for compaction procedure with reduced testing requirements. 6.3. Commentary Notes: Impact rollers can compact soils in lifts exceeding 1 m. 6.4 Other lift thicknesses may be approved by the appropriate Saudi Aramco Inspection Representative based on a field test section using the intended compaction equipment and verification that compaction was achieved for the full depth.3.1 The moisture content of the material being compacted shall be within 3%.2. 6. of the optimum moisture content as determined by ASTM D1557. the compacted sand shall be kept wet until the next layer is placed.3.3 Fill material shall be placed in uniform loose lifts not exceeding the following criteria. there is no applicable optimum moisture content.4. Continuous watering is required to maintain compaction until the next lift is in-place.3.4.1 Select Fill Material shall be placed in lifts of 200 mm maximum in loose depth.4.3. 6.5 If clean sand or dune sand is used for fill. See Section 6.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill beyond the design edge of the slope and then trimming back to achieve the final slope dimensions. Commentary Note: Sand that has been allowed to dry out will uncompact under vehicle or pedestrian traffic.3. 6.3.2 General Fill Material shall be placed in lifts of 300 mm maximum in loose depth.3. 6. 6.3. 6.3.2 For cohesionless freely draining soils when ASTM D4253/ ASTM D4254 are the appropriate test procedures. provided that the specified compaction is achieved for the full depth. 6.3.3 General Fill Material and Select Fill Material shall be placed in lifts of 100 mm maximum in loose depth for hand-operated compaction equipment. Page 16 of 25 .

6. 6. pits. or  At least 70% Relative Density as determined by ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254 for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. 6.3. as these sands are difficult to compact with mechanical compactors.5.2 Compaction by water jetting or flooding is not permitted for most fill material.5.6. However. Every effort shall be made to place backfill materials symmetrically and in uniform layers to prevent unnecessary eccentric loading on a structure or foundation. 6.6 Fill and backfill layers shall be uniformly compacted in accordance with the following density requirements: 6.3. lined slopes or drainage channels.5 Compaction shall be performed with equipment compatible with soil type. but shall be compacted with hand-operated equipment to a distance of 1. flooding with positive drainage may be used if the fill material is cohesionless freely draining sand. mats.3. and basements shall not be compacted with heavy equipment.2 meters or greater beyond the sides of the structures. buildings.3.3. and process areas:  At least 90% of the maximum Modified Proctor density as determined by ASTM D1557.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill 6. grade beams.3. Commentary Note: Water flooding with positive drainage may be the most effective compaction technique for poorly graded and single- size sands.6. or  At least 85% Relative Density as determined by Page 17 of 25 .1 All Select Fill Material and any fill beneath and/or adjacent to foundations.2 Select Fill Material beneath and/or adjacent to foundations with static loads over 320 kPa and foundations for vibrating or heavy machinery:  At least 95% of the maximum Modified Proctor density as determined by ASTM D1557.1 Fill and backfill adjacent to structures such as retaining walls.

3. 6. Page 18 of 25 .Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254 for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. Compaction testing of working platforms is not required. Commentary Notes: Compaction to the required densities indicated in Section 6. 6.6.3 Asphalt and concrete pavement subgrades:  At least 95% of the maximum Modified Proctor density as determined by ASTM D1557.4 General Fill Material for areas not designated as open or landscaped:  At least 90% of the maximum Modified Proctor density as determined by ASTM D1557. 6. A working platform to provide a stable base is often required.6.3.3.5 General Fill Material for areas designated as open or landscaped:  At least 85% of the maximum Modified Proctor density as determined by ASTM D1557.3 are virtually impossible to achieve in the first layer placed directly on subkha and similar very weak soils.6.6.3. Subkha working platforms must be indicated as such and accounted for in the design.6 Working platforms for compaction on subkha deposits shall be compacted as necessary to achieve a stable base. or  At least 70% Relative Density as determined by ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254 for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. 6. or  At least 85% Relative Density as determined by ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254 for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. or  At least 65% Relative Density as determined by ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254 for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship.

3.7 Compacted surfaces of fill and backfill shall be finish graded to the cross sections.1 Laboratory Control Tests 6. or 6. grades.3. and elevations as indicated on the drawings. Stripping of the subkha “crust” prior to fill placement is not recommended.3. Commentary Note: Typical surficial erosion protection includes grass/vegetation.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill A 500 mm thick layer of fill material placed directly on the subkha compacted as well as possible is usually sufficient. soil-cement (minimum 5% cement by weight). plasticity. lines.2 Final slopes are steeper than 1 (V) to 5 (H).3. and moisture content shall be performed for each type of fill material. riprap. chemical or polymer spray.8 Surficial erosion protection.1 Clean sand or dune sand is used for fill.6.4. 6.8. 6. as approved by the Company Representative.1). ASTM D422 or ASTM D1140) 1 Plasticity Index determination (ASTM D4318) 1 Modified Proctor Test (ASTM D1557) with corresponding Proctor curve. Page 19 of 25 .1.8. shall be provided when: 6. ML or CL as determined by ASTM D2487.7 Topsoil identified as “for planting purposes” is exempted from compaction requirements. A geotextile layer between the subkha and the working platform provides a capillary break and improves both short-term (construction) and long-term performance of the engineered fill.3. density.4 Testing and Inspection Requirements 6. compacted as per Section 6. or geomaterials such as geocells.4. These tests shall include the following: Required tests for cohesive soils: 1 Sieve analysis (ASTM C136.3. classified as SC. 6. cohesive marl (minimum 150mm thick. 6.3. asphalt/concrete surfacing. select fill material (where required as per Section 6.1 Tests of gradation.6).

Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill Required tests for cohesionless soils: 1 Sieve analysis (ASTM C136. or (2) a stockpile from multiple sources.2 Laboratory Control Test Frequency  The control tests specified in section 6. ASTM D422 or ASTM D1140) 1 Relative Density determination (ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254). 6. The backfill shall then be compacted to the greater density.  Every effort should be made to ensure that the fill material is uniform. such as Electromagnetic Soil Density Gauge (ASTM D7830/ D7830M) or Dynamic Cone Penetration (ASTM D7380). may be approved by the Saudi Aramco Inspection Representative based on a field test which proves the Page 20 of 25 .4.2 Field Control Tests 6. When the backfill material cannot clearly be classified as cohesive or cohesionless both Relative Density and Proctor density tests must be performed per the above paragraph.1.2 Other methods for in-place density of compacted fills. However. 6. The drive-cylinder method per ASTM D2937 may only be used if the compacted layer is only 15 cm or less.2. the tests in section 6.1. in situations when the fill is (1) from a single borrow area but non-uniform in composition.1 shall be conducted at a minimum for every 5.4.1 In-place density and moisture content of soils shall be determined by the following methods:  Sand-cone method in accordance with ASTM D1556  Nuclear method in accordance with ASTM D2922  Rubber balloon method in accordance with ASTM D2167  Drive-cylinder method in accordance with ASTM D2937.2.4.1.000 m3 using a combined sample of four random samples of the fill material.4. 6.4.1 shall be conducted at a minimum for every 10.4.000 m3 where the fill material is uniform or for every change of source or material type.

6. 4. The method statement must include the equipment type. 6. 2. 6.2.2 Structural Excavation Structural excavation shall include excavations for footings. or other unsuitable material.4 As a minimum.4.5 The number of tests shall be increased if a visual inspection determines that the moisture content is not uniform or if the compacting effort is variable and not considered sufficient to attain the specified density.one test every 500 m² of each lift. 7 Excavation 7. Backfill of trenches .one test for every 15 linear meter of each lift.1 General Excavation General excavation shall be performed after clearing and stripped of organic material. area pavement and parking areas. and lined slopes or drainage channels . buildings and process areas . Select Fill Material under roadways.one test every 200 m² of each lift. grade beams. a method statement for the compaction procedure and testing frequency shall be submitted to the Saudi Aramco representative and approved by Project Inspection.2.2.4.4.2. at least one in-place density test must be performed on every lift of fill and further placement shall not be allowed until the required density has been achieved. and the number of passes required to achieve the required density. lift thicknesses.one test every 100 m² of each lift. Page 21 of 25 . In such cases. serial numbers. General Fill Material . Select Fill Material under all foundations. trash. 6.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill accuracy of the method for the given fill material and compaction method.6 The Project Inspection Representative may approve a decrease in the number of tests once a compaction procedure has proven to meet compaction requirements. 7. railroads.3 Testing shall be performed at the following frequencies: 1.4. pits. 3.

grades. etc. Street and Road Closure: Excavation. 7.4 Trenching Trenching for pipelines and underground utilities shall conform to SAES-L-450.1 Side slopes of excavations shall be cut true and straight and shall be graded to the design cross section. pipeline thrust anchors.3. Unstable soil in the slopes shall be removed and the slopes properly prepared as described in Section 6. CLSM.3.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill basements. CLSM.2. SAES-L-460.3 Over-excavation at footings shall be backfilled with compacted Select Fill as specified in Sections 6.2 Over excavation shall be backfilled with suitable material compacted in accordance with Section 6. 7.1 Excavation shall be performed as required by the design drawings to the dimensions.000.3. CLSM.3. 7. The bottoms of excavations shall be graded to the elevations and configurations as shown on the drawings.2. 7. catch basins. ditches. and cross sections as shown on the drawings. man holes.2. or SAES-S-070 as appropriate. Reinstatement of roads and pavements after trenching shall comply with shall comply with SAES-Q-006 and GI-1021.2 and 6. or lean (1000 psi minimum 28-day compressive strength) concrete. Reinstatement and Traffic Controls.5 Rock Excavation Seismic velocities will be the sole factor in determining the appropriate category for the excavation of rock. retaining walls. canals.3.2 When soft or compressible soil is encountered at footing grades as shown on the drawings. Excavation of rock will fall into the following categories.2.3.3 Earthen Structures Earthen structures include permanent work items such as ponds. or lean (1000 psi minimum 28-day compressive strength) concrete. and elevations as noted and as required for formwork and allowance for compaction equipment. 7. 7. etc. 7. Excavation for such work shall be made to the lines. or lean (1000 psi minimum 28-day compressive strength) concrete.2 and 6. grades. 7. such soil shall be removed and replaced with compacted Select Fill as specified in Sections 6. based on the excavation type and the seismic compression (P) wave Page 22 of 25 .

6 Disposal of Materials All excavated materials that are unsatisfactory for use as fill or backfill or that are surplus to that needed for backfilling shall immediately be disposed of at a location designated by the Saudi Aramco Company Representative. Added a summary table of fill placement and compaction requirements as an Appendix. Such limitations may include ripping direction and/or travel distance.Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill velocities measured in the field prior to excavation by refraction seismic testing as per ASTM D5777. Revision Summary 30 September 2014 Major revision to revise compaction water requirements. Vp Seismic compression (P) wave velocity. Page 23 of 25 . road cuts) where limitations to ripping are present. open area excavation where no limitations to ripping are present. weathered and/or fractured rock. Normal excavation includes all soils and also includes soft. revise requirements for fill placement and compaction. verified by the Company Representative. and revise testing requirements. 7. Rock Excavation Excavation that cannot be accomplished using rippers and/or excavators/backhoes and which requires blasting or pneumatic rock breakers to facilitate excavation. Small/linear Isolated small excavations and linear excavations (trenches. add CSLM as a fill material.) operated in accordance with good construction practice. Table 1 – Excavation Categories Seismic Velocity from Shallow Refraction Tests (m/s) Excavation Type Vp < 1530 1530 < Vp < 2300 Vp >2300 Small/linear Normal Excavation Rock Excavation Rock Excavation Mass grading Normal Excavation Normal Excavation Rock Excavation Where: Normal Excavation Excavation that can be accomplished using rippers (mass grading) and/or excavators/backhoes (linear and isolated small excavations. Mass grading Large. Reorganized entire document for clarity.

 All observed soft spots or loose zones shall be compacted in-place or excavated to firm soil and replaced with properly compacted fill. General Fill Material not Compacted to at least: designated as open or landscaped. with static loads over 320 kPa 95% of the maximum Modified Proctor density  Other lift thicknesses may be approved by the and foundations for vibrating or (ASTM D1557). 90% of the maximum Modified Proctor density provided that the specified compaction is lined slopes or drainage (ASTM D1557) achieved for the full depth. and process areas. grade beams. channels. shall not be less than:  Areas shall be free of organic material. or Representative based on a field test section 85% relative density (ASTM D4253 and using the intended compaction equipment. density relationship.  Top 6 inches (150 mm) scarified and recompacted. or  Select Fill Material shall be placed in lifts of 70% Relative Density (ASTM D4253 and 200 mm maximum in loose depth. 90% of the maximum Modified Proctor density (ASTM D1557)  Proper drainage so that the site is free of or standing water all the time. mats. 90% of the maximum Modified Proctor density (ASTM D1557) or 70% Relative Density (ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254) for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. Asphalt and concrete pavement ASTM D4254) for cohesionless granular soils (Impact rollers can compact soils in lifts subgrades (roads & parking that do not exhibit well-defined moisture exceeding 1 m). areas). buildings. pavement or loads. of 300 mm maximum in loose depth. Page 24 of 25 . 70% relative density (ASTM D4253 and  In-situ soil proof rolled and inspected for soft ASTM D4254) for cohesionless free draining spots or loose zones. Proof roll may be soil defined as crossing the area with a heavy (minimum 10-ton weight) rubber-tire or steel-wheel roller. All Select Fill Material or any Compacted to at least: Fill material shall be placed in uniform loose fill beneath and/or adjacent to lifts not exceeding the following criteria. appropriate Saudi Aramco Inspection heavy machinery. ASTM D4254) for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture  General Fill Material shall be placed in lifts density relationship. trash or other unsuitable material. Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill APPENDIX Summary of Fill Placement and Compaction Requirements Area/Region Compaction Requirement Comments Site preparation of areas to The density of the top 150 mm in these areas Site preparation receive fill.  General Fill Material and Select Fill Material shall be placed in lifts of 100 mm maximum Select Fill Material beneath Compacted to at least: in loose depth for hand-operated compaction and/or adjacent to foundations equipment.

achieve in the first layer placed directly on subkha and similar very weak soils. Pavement Reconstruction after Reinstatement of roads and pavements after Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM). a Trenching trenching shall comply with shall comply with flowable. subkha and the working platform provides a capillary break and improves both short-term Compaction to the required densities indicated (construction) and long-term performance of in Section 6. required. Topsoil identified as “for Exempted from compaction requirements. Document Responsibility: Geotechnical Standards Committee SAES-A-114 Issue Date: 30 September 2014 Next Planned Update: 30 September 2019 Excavation and Backfill Area/Region Compaction Requirement Comments General Fill Material for areas Compacted to at least: designated as open or landscaped. planting purposes. for backfill of trenches crossing roads and pavements. Page 25 of 25 . Subkha working subkha “crust” prior to fill placement is not platforms must be indicated as such and recommended. is recommended SAES-Q-006 and GI-1021.000. Stripping of the achieve a stable base. 85% of the maximum Modified Proctor density (ASTM D1557) or 65% Relative Density (ASTM D4253 and ASTM D4254) for cohesionless granular soils that do not exhibit well-defined moisture density relationship. A geotextile layer between the accounted for in the design.” Working platforms for A 500 mm thick layer of fill material placed Working platforms for compaction on subkha compaction on subkha deposits. A working Compaction testing of working platforms is not platform to provide a stable base is often required. directly on the subkha compacted as well as deposits shall be compacted as necessary to possible is usually sufficient.3 are virtually impossible to the engineered fill. self-compacting fill.