What Makes Commercial Excavation Different?

Commercial excavation is the first step in building projects like office buildings, malls and industrial developments. Like residential excavation, commercial excavation involves moving earth to prepare a development site for construction. It includes everything from removing trees, trash and debris to digging underground spaces for utilities. Commercial excavation also includes redistributing and compacting soil for grading and stability as an important first step for construction.

If you’re looking for a commercial excavation company in Saratoga Springs, NY, here are some things you should know about how the commercial excavation process differs from what you’ll see in residential projects.

Commercial excavation is different than residential excavation

Commercial projects that require excavation tend to be bigger than residential developments. Commercial developments are generally larger anyway, and the structures are typically made with more heavy-duty materials than residential ones. Where residential homes may be framed with wood, industrial buildings tend to be made with steel and concrete. Where homes might have eight-foot basements that require excavation, commercial buildings potentially include multiple below-ground levels, or underground parking garages.

All of this makes commercial excavation way more intense than residential, requiring commercial excavation companies to dig and drill much deeper, which is more dangerous and more expensive.

Removing unwanted materials and contaminants

If commercial excavation is being done on land that was previously used for different commercial purposes, it might involve some tricky elements. Building sites like former gas stations come with a whole slew of issues, including contamination, underground piping and even tanks. Commercial excavation at a former gas station, then, might include the required disposal of contaminated soil and equipment.

Beyond issues with the land itself, commercial excavation projects might also need to take into account the effect of nearby structures’ weight and pressure on the site. It’s a complex and difficult process, especially in highly populated urban areas.


Removing unwanted or contaminated materials from a commercial excavation site can be dangerous, but believe it or not, this isn’t the most dangerous element of commercial excavation. Trenching, which involves excavation that’s deeper than it is wide, is considered one of the most hazardous elements of commercial excavation. Where most commercial excavation involves digging to prepare for a foundation, trenching involves excavators digging even deeper to prepare to install piping and sewage systems.

If a trench excavation is deeper than five feet, there must be safety measures in place. If it’s deeper than 20 feet, the excavators are required to consult a professional engineer.

Preparing for construction

Commercial excavation isn’t just about digging holes or removing unwanted materials and contaminants, either. The purpose of commercial excavation is to prepare a site for commercial construction. Along with clearing ground and removing unwanted materials and contaminants, commercial excavators sometimes have to add materials or introduce soil. Different kinds of soil will affect how the earth can be compacted to prepare for a building. It’s a commercial excavator’s responsibility to make sure the land they are working is stable and ready for construction. It’s also their responsibility to make sure the land will drain properly after construction has begun.

Schedule commercial excavation

If you’re looking for a commercial excavation company in Saratoga Springs, NY, be sure to hire a firm with a good reputation that has a lot of experience. Asphalt Industries LLC is a trusted, reliable local excavator. Contact us today to consult with one of our skilled professionals and get a quote.