Ontario Civil Construction Careers Institute

ALLUVIAL - Native aggregates deposited by water flow

ASPHALT - A dark brown to black, hydrocarbon produced from the residue left after the distillation of petroleum. Asphalt is used on highways as a waterproofing agent.

BACKFILL - Filling in any previously excavated area.

BELOW-GRADE - The portion of a building that is below ground level.

BOULDER - Pieces of rock larger than 200mm

BUILDING MATERIALS - Any material which is used for a Construction purpose. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, sand, wood and rocks, even twigs and leaves have been used to construct buildings.

CLAY - Grains of rock less than 0.001mm.

CLEAR CRUSH - Crushed and screened rock that contains no fines – very porous

COBBLE - Pieces of rock between 60mm and 200mm

DREDGING - Is an excavation activity usually carried out at least partly underwater with the purpose of gathering up bottom sediments and disposing of them at a different location, mostly to keep waterways passable.

EXCAVATE - Dig all areas that will need footings/foundations or sewers below ground.

FILTER LAYER - Cobble, gravel, etc placed under riprap to prevent native fines from washing out through the riprap.

FINISH GRADE - Any surface which has been cut to or built to the elevation indicated for that point.

GEOTEXTILE - Heavy weight fabric of generally synthetic material used to stabilize aggregates, soil etc. Geotextile may be made of woven or non woven materials.

GLACIAL - Aggregates deposited by or through glacial processes.

GRAVEL - Crushed or alluvial rock of size between 2mm and 60m.m

OVERBURDEN - Native soils overlying aggregate to be mined or sub-soils to be constructed upon.

PROCTOR TEST - A method to determine the maximum density that can be achieved through wetting and packing for a given aggregate.

ROAD BASE - A mixture of gravel, sand and fines that compacts well.

SAND - Grains of rock between 0.06mm and 2mm.

SHORING - A temporary support erected in a trench or other excavation to prevent the walls from caving in.

SILT - Grains of rock between 0.002mm and 0.06mm

STRING LINE - A nylon line usually strung tightly between supports to indicate both direction and elevation, used in checking grades or deviations in slopes or rises.

SURCHARG - Condition in which the water elevation at the upstream end of a culvert exceeds the culvert obvert. (See "Culvert" section, below, for explanation of obvert)

TOPSOIL - Native or manufactured soil with 15-40% organic content

UPRIGHTS - Vertical members supporting the sides of a trench.

VALVE - A device to stop, start or regulate the flow of liquid or gas through or from piping.

WEIR - Structure that spans a channel and controls the local streambed elevation.

WELL GRADED - Coarse grained soil with an even distribution of sizes.