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Dr.Dirt Papers by Dan Atcheson
QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TOPICS
DEALING WITH TEMPORARY EARTHEN STRUCTURES IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
DEALING WITH TOPSOIL
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE AREAS OF CUT AND FILL ON A SITE
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE VOLUMES OF CUT AND FILL
Required Beneath a Proposed Structure Overlying Layers of Usable and Unusable Materials, When All Unusable Material Must be Removed From Beneath the Structure
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE WHERE WATER WILL BE ENCOUNTERED ON A SITE
SOIL BORINGS VERSUS TOPSOIL STRIPPING IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
A SHORTCUT FOR ENTERING AREA INFORMATION IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE ROCK SURFACE BLASTING AREA
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO BALANCE A SITE WITH AN ON-SITE BORROW PIT
HOW TO BE VERY COMPETITIVE WHEN STRIPPING TOPSOIL IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
THE COPY/PASTE AND CUT/PASTE ROUTINE IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK-A VERY HANDY TOOL
EXCAVATING AND BACKFILLING A BASEMENT USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO ENTER STRUCTURES EXCAVATED INTO A SLOPING SURFACE
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DEAL WITH "GROUND LOSS"
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO EXCAVATE UNSUITABLE SURFACE MATERIAL
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO EXCAVATE UNSUITABLE MATERIAL OVERLAID WITH A USABLE OVERBURDEN
HOW TO HANDLE OVERLAPPING AREAS WHEN GRADE CHANGES ARE APPLIED TO THE SAME LAYER IN USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
USING AREAS IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO BID PHASED PROJECTS AND ALTERNATES
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO HANDLE REMOVING AND RE-COMPACTING EXISTING SOIL
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO TAKE OFF A STRUCTURAL PAD REQUIREING REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT OF NATIVE MATERIAL
ENTERING DATA FOR A RETAINING WALL USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
DEALING WITH A SITE WITH EXISTING, PROPOSED AND ROCK CONTOUR LINES
SOIL BORING TIPS
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE VOLUME OF SPECIAL SURFACE MATERIAL PLACED OVER FILL AREAS
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO ACCOUNT FOR TOTAL VOLUMES OF SITE CUT AND FILL, AS WELL AS SELECT FILL UNDER STRUCTURES
DEMOLISHNG EXISTING STRUCTURES IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO TAKE OFF A SITE REQUIRING SURCHARGE AT STRUCTURES

DEALING WITH TEMPORARY EARTHEN STRUCTURES IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
Use the following procedure when you have a site with a temporary earthen structure such as a sediment pond:
1. Enter all data as shown on the plans.
2. Run job totals using the Site Perimeter as the active area.
3. Trace an area around the temporary structure, apply calculations to the existing or proposed surface (it doesn't matter which one), but don't lower grades.
4. Run job totals using this area as the active area.
5. Keep in mind that any cut quantities displayed must be considered as becoming fill quantities in order to return the temporary structural area to its original condition. Similarly, the fill quantities displayed must be considered as becoming cut quantities in order to return the area to its original condition.

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DEALING WITH TOPSOIL
In order to accurately deal with topsoil stripping and replacement, we must first discuss some basic principles. As a general rule, topsoil is stripped in order to remove vegetation and humus-rich soil that cannot be used for structural fill. Also, in many arid regions where the rich material is scarce, excess topsoil can be stockpiled and sold at a premium.

Topsoil Stripped should be also be considered as two distinct materials: 1) Vegetation Stripped and 2) "Clean" Topsoil Stripped that can be sold, respread over green areas, and in some instances, used as part of the fill material placed under structures and paved areas.
Topsoil is replaced over "green areas" in a relatively uncompacted condition to promote future plant growth. Since the equipment used to respread topsoil is usually different from the types of equipment used to place compacted fill, the volume of Topsoil Replaced should be kept separate from other fill material in the Job Totals window.

Scenario 1: Clean Topsoil Can Be Replaced in Green Areas, Only
In this case, draw the site perimeter and lower existing elevations equal to the thickness of the Topsoil Stripped. In the Description cells of the Area Properties window, enter two distinct materials with their appropriate thicknesses: Vegetation Stripped and Clean Topsoil Stripped. To replace topsoil, trace the green areas and lower proposed elevations equal to the thickness of the Topsoil Replaced. Keep in mind that the volume of Cut displayed in the Job Totals window does not include the volumes of Vegetation Stripped and Clean Topsoil Stripped. Also, the volume of Fill does not include the volume of Topsoil Replaced. The volume of Clean Topsoil exported is the difference between the volume of Clean Topsoil Stripped and the volume of Topsoil Replaced. Also, the volume of Vegetation Stripped must be exported. The volume of import or export (exclusive of topsoil) is the difference between the volume of Cut and the volume of Fill displayed in the Job Totals window.
Scenario 2: Clean Topsoil Can Be Used as Fill Throughout the Site
In this case, lower existing elevations within the site perimeter equal to the thickness of Vegetation Stripped. To replace topsoil, trace the green areas and lower proposed elevations equal to the thickness of the Topsoil Replaced. Keep in mind that the volume of Cut shown in the Job Totals window does not include the volume of Vegetation Stripped. Also, the volume of Fill does not include the volume of Topsoil Replaced. The volume of Vegetation Stripped must be exported. The volume of import or export (exclusive of the volume of Topsoil Replaced) is the difference between the volume of Cut and the volume of Fill displayed in the Job Totals window.
If you desire to include the volume of Topsoil Replaced in the volume of Cut, don't trace or lower any green areas.   

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE AREAS OF CUT AND FILL ON A SITE
You can determine the areas of cut and fill (in square feet) for a site by performing the following steps:
1. Temporarily enter four soil borings, one at each corner of the site.
2. In the Soil Boring Properties window, enter one layer (stratum) using the description of "Dirt" and a thickness of 0.25 feet (3 inches).*
3. Run Job Totals using the Site Perimeter as the active area. Take the volume of "Dirt" and multiply it by 108 to obtain a very close approximation of the area of cut required for the site. **
4. Subtract the result from the Site Perimeter area to obtain the area of the site requiring fill.
5. Delete the soil borings.
* If you have lowered the existing elevations within the Site Perimeter, enter the layer thickness 3 inches thicker than the topsoil stripped; e.g., enter a layer thickness of 9 inches if you've stripped 6 inches of topsoil.
** All we are doing is converting the CY volume to cubic feet by multiplying by 27, then dividing the result by 0.25 feet (27/0.25 = 108), using the formula: Area = Volume/Depth.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE VOLUMES OF CUT AND FILL
Required Beneath a Proposed Structure Overlying Layers of Usable and Unusable Materials, When All Unusable Material Must be Removed From Beneath the Structure
There are projects that require that you remove all unsuitable material layers beneath a proposed structure. To complicate matters, you might have a usable material layer sandwiched between the unusable layers. For sake of demonstration, let's assume that we have four material layers beneath a proposed structure: unusable over usable over unusable over usable (Figure 1).
Under there conditions, perform the following steps to determine the volumes of cut and fill required beneath the structure:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevations, as well as area and soil boring data.
2. Select the area where the unusable layers must be removed as the Active Area in the Job Totals window. We will make the following designations for the resulting quantities:
a) Cut Bad 1 = Volume of Unusable Material Cut from Layer 1
b) Cut Good 2 = Volume of Usable Material from Layer 2
c) Cut Bad 3 = Volume of Unusable Material from Layer 3
d) Cut Good 4 = Volume of Usable Material from Layer 4
e) Fill 1 = Volume of Fill Required (if any)

Note: Keep in mind that these volumes represent only the volumes of required to cut and fill the area to finish grade, as indicated on the site plan.
3. To determine the additional cut required to remove all the unsuitable material, as well as the fill required to replace the unsuitable material, go to the Areas window and re-open the area mentioned above, then lower it sufficiently enough to position the proposed layer beneath the lowest point of the deepest unusable layer (Figure 2). You can verify that you've lowered the area sufficiently by checking the Cross Section View.
4. Run job totals. We will make the following designations for the resulting quantities:
a) Tot. Bad 1 = Total Volume of Unusable Material in Layer 1
b) Tot. Good 2 = Total Volume of the Usable Material in Layer 2
c) Tot. Bad 3 = Total Volume of Unusable Material in Layer 3

Note: We would probably see volumes for the fourth layer; however, we will not be concerned with it, since the total volume of cut required to remove all unusable material, as well and the second layer of unusable material is:
Total Cut = Tot. Bad 1 + Tot. Good 2 +Tot. Bad 3 + Cut Good 4
Before we can calculate the total fill required, we must determine the fill required to replace the unusable material. The fill required to replace the unusable material are:
Fill at Bad 1 = Tot. Bad 1 - Cut Bad 1 (Figure 3)
Fill at Bad 3 = Tot. Bad 3 - Cut Bad 3
(Figure 3)

Therefore, the total fill required is:
Total Fill = Fill 1 + Fill at Bad 1 +Fill at Bad 3 - Tot Good 2 - Cut Good 4

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE WHERE WATER WILL BE ENCOUNTERED ON A SITE
If you have soil borings or test pits indication the depth at which ground will be encountered, perform the following steps to determine the volumes of various layers encountered, as well as the locations where ground water will be encountered:
1. Take the project off as you normally do, entering soil boring information.
2. Run job totals to obtain the volumes of cut for various material layers.
3. Make a copy of the job.
4. Delete the original soil boring layers entered.
5. Enter two layers: Dirt and Water
6. Enter the thickness of Dirt from the ground surface to the top of the water., then enter the thickness of Water at 3 inches (0.25 feet) thick
7. Open the Grid View and select the Show Colors icon, using Water as the Active Layer. Any red cells will indicate locations where ground water will be encountered.

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SOIL BORINGS VERSUS TOPSOIL STRIPPING IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
When you enter soil boring information, list and enter the thickness of the top layer into the boring log, even though this layer is comprised partly of the topsoil that is to be stripped. This will result in a reduced volume of cut for the top layer, equal to the volume of topsoil stripped over the plan area requiring cut.
However, never use soil borings to determine the volume of topsoil stripped throughout the site, since soil boring volumes are determined within plan areas requiring cut, only, and are ignored in areas requiring fill.

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A SHORTCUT FOR ENTERING AREA INFORMATION IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
When you have to enter numerous areas with identical properties, such as concrete slabs of the same thickness and construction, you can save a lot of time by using the Copy Properties option of the Quest for Earthwork program. Use the following procedure to accomplish this:
1. Trace the first area and click Finished.
2. In the Area Properties window, enter the area name, select the area color and the surface to which the calculation is to be applied (existing or proposed), then click OK.
3. Continue by repeating Steps 1 and 2 until all of the like areas have been entered. However, in the last area traced, enter all the pertinent information (e.g., change elevation, as well as descriptions and thickness of construction materials), then click OK.
4. Click the Copy Properties icon (located between the ABC and Finished icons) and highlight all of the areas to which you want to apply the last area's properties. The result will be that all of the like areas will be assigned identical properties.

Thanks to Mike Gillum for his input


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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE ROCK SURFACE BLASTING AREA
When a contractor blasts rock, he must excavate down to the rock, then set up a grid pattern of blast holes to be drilled and loaded with explosives. Since the number of blast holes required depends on the surface area of the rock, the contractor needs to know the rock surface area to be blasted, as well as the cubic yards of blasted rock to be removed.
    To accomplish both goals, you must enter substrata information via the Soil Boring Option. The cubic yards of blasted rock will then be shown in the Job Totals View. The surface area of the rock can be obtained by the following procedure:
1. Select the rock layer as the Active Layer
2. Go to the Grid View
3. Select the Show Color Icon
4. Print out the Grid View and count the number of red grid cells, then multiply the number of cells by the area within each cell. The result will be the square feet of rock surface area to be blasted.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO BALANCE A SITE WITH AN ON-SITE BORROW PIT
To balance a site with an on-site borrow pit, perform the following steps:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevations.
2. Draw all required areas, including an area enclosing the borrow pit. Note: Name the area Borrow Pit, apply calculations to proposed, but do not change elevations or request volumes.
3. Draw a site perimeter which also encloses the borrow pit. Note: Also see my paper entitled TAKING OFF MULTIPLE AREAS SIMULTANEOUSLY USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK.
4. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and calculate job totals.
5. Select the Balance icon and choose Automatic Balance, using the Borrow Pit in the balance.

The result will be the depth of excavation required within the borrow pit in order to provide sufficient fill for the site.

To check your accuracy, you can select the Areas View, select the Borrow Pit area and lower elevations according to the depth of excavation obtained in Step 5. Then go to the Job Totals View and calculate totals without using the balance feature. The result should be closely balanced site.
Note: You can also use this procedure using more than one borrow pit. Also, you can use the steps above to balance the site with an off-site borrow pit by drawing the borrow pit area to scale on the blueprint, provided there is room for the area.

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HOW TO BE VERY COMPETITIVE WHEN STRIPPING TOPSOIL IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
There are instances when you are required to strip topsoil beyond the work area requiring cutting and filling (Figure 1). To be as competitive as possible in such a scenario, perform the following steps:
1. Set up the three drawing field points so that the topsoil stripped area is within the resulting drawing field.
2. Enter existing and proposed elevations, as well as area information.
3. Enter a topsoil stripped area and lower existing elevations.
4. In addition, enter a Site Perimeter that encompasses the cut/fill area, but do not lower elevations.
5. Select the Site Perimeter as the Active Area and run job totals.

This will result in the cut and fill quantities being calculated only in the actual work area, as well as the volume of topsoil stripped throughout the site.

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THE COPY/PASTE AND CUT/PASTE ROUTINE IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK-A VERY HANDY TOOL
You can copy items from one layer to another as well as from window to window in Quest for Earthwork. When is this a handy feature?
1. Let's say you've run an earthwork project and you are now grading the site. Along comes a change order and the designer needs to know how the change will affect your original bid. You can make a copy of the original job file and delete all of the existing contours by selecting the Existing Layer, clicking Edit/Select All, then clicking Edit/Delete. You can then select the Proposed Layer, click Edit/Select All, then click Edit/Cut. Then go into the Existing Layer and click Edit/Paste. The original proposed contours and points are now existing contours and points. You can then enter the new proposed elevations, trace a site perimeter around the new work and calculate Job Totals which will indicate the volumes of cut and fill required to fulfill the change order.

2. Let's say you wish to use the same area and change elevations in the existing, as well as the proposed surface. For example, you are stripping topsoil only in an area where a parking lot is to be constructed, and thus, the site perimeter is identical to the outline of the parking area. In this case, enter the Site Perimeter and lower existing elevations. Click Edit/Copy, open the Takeoff Window, then click Edit/Paste. Then click Edit/Cut, open the Areas Window and click Edit/Paste. In the Area Properties Window, lower proposed elevations to subgrade.

Note: The reason why you must follow all these steps is the fact that you cannot copy elevations from a given layer and paste into the same layer (e.g., existing elevations into the Existing Layer, proposed elevations into the Proposed Layer, or areas into the Areas Window).

Note: When you use the cut or copy routine, all data cut or copied is temporarily saved into a Windows notepad whose storage capacity is limited. If the data exceeds this storage capacity, you will have to cut/paste or copy/paste a few items at a time.

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EXCAVATING AND BACKFILLING A BASEMENT USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
Referring to the accompanying illustrations, perform the following steps in order to determine the volumes of cut and fill required for a site, as well as the volume of excavation and backfill required at a basement.
1. Draw existing contours.
2. Draw proposed contours throughout the site, and up to the edge of the basement building shell.
3. Enter a proposed contour line around the basement shell using an average existing or average proposed elevation within the basement area. Which one you use will depend on whether you are going to excavate from the existing surface, or from the proposed surface.
4. When you click Finished, click Edit/Copy. Then change to the Areas window and click Edit/Paste.
5. In the Area Properties window, name the area, apply calculations to the proposed layer and lower elevations to basement subgrade.
6. Note: If we ran job totals at this point in time, we would have the volumes of cut and fill required for the site, including the volume of excavation required within the basement shell and the volume of backfill required beyond the basement shell (Figure 1). However, we must proceed to Step 7 in order to determine the volume of excavation required immediately outside the basement shell.
7. Draw an area between the basement shell and the centerline of the sloped excavation walls. The end result will be an area shaped like a picture frame surrounding the basement shell.
5. In the Area Properties window, name the area, apply calculations to Proposed layer, but do not change layer elevations. Enter a Description of Outside Excavation and enter the average depth of excavation around the basement shell. Also enter a Description of Outside Backfill and enter the average depth of backfill around the basement shell (Figures 2 and 3).
Fig. 3
6. At the Job Totals window, the total cut required is the volume of Cut, plus the Outside Excavation volume. However, the Outside Backfill volume is already included in the volume of Fill.
Note: The only reason for wanting to know the volume of backfill beyond the basement shell is that this material is often placed in lifts around the basement and must be compacted with small rammer compactors, making it a relatively expensive operation.
 
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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO ENTER STRUCTURES EXCAVATED INTO A SLOPING SURFACE
Referring to the enclosed illustrations of a simplified example site plan, perform the following steps to enter structures excavated into a sloping surface:
1. Enter all elevation and area information, except for the structures excavated into the sloping surface.
2. Enter a proposed contour line around the edge of the structure, using the average existing elevation within the structure (The average existing elevation within the structure is 16 feet in Figure 1).
3. Copy the proposed contour line into the Areas window and lower the area from the proposed contour elevation (entered in Step 2) to structure subgrade (Assuming a structure subgrade elevation of one foot, lower the area by: 16' - 1' = 15' x 12" = 180" in Figure 2).
Figure 2
This will result in a beautiful 3D and Cross Section view, as well as the volume of cut required to excavate the structure (Figures 3 and 4). opus56f3.jpg (26945 bytes)
If the structure has a low point in the center (e.g., a storage tank), enter the low point as a proposed single point using an elevation reflecting the difference between the edge and center of the tank (Assuming a one-foot elevation difference between the edge and center of the tank, enter a proposed point at 15 feet in Figure 5). The result can be seen in the cross section shown in Figure 6.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DEAL WITH "GROUND LOSS"
A substantial portion of a construction site might undergo subsidence as a result of heavy equipment traversing the site during project setup and topsoil stripping operations. The lowering of the existing surface under these conditions in referred to as ground loss.
The depth of subsidence is dependent upon many variables; however, the most important variable is the original condition of the land surface. For instance, rocky soil might suffer insignificant ground loss, while a plowed field might subside in excess of 4 inches.
Ground loss affects fill volumes, only. Therefore, when you trace the site perimeter, lower existing elevations by the thickness of topsoil stripped, plus the anticipated subsidence thickness. However, enter a description of and thickness of topsoil stripped, only. The result will be the correct volume of topsoil stripped, and fill volumes will be calculated from existing elevations (after subsidence) to proposed elevations.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO EXCAVATE UNSUITABLE SURFACE MATERIAL
When you have a project requiring you to remove unsuitable surface material (such as muck) prior to doing mass cut/fill operations, use the following takeoff method to calculate quantities of cut and fill:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevation data, as well as areas.
2. Enter the thicknesses of muck using soil borings.
3. Draw a site perimeter but don't lower elevations.
4. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will designate the total cut and fill quantities as Cut (Normal) and Fill (Normal). We will also designate the muck volume as Muck (Normal) (Figure 1).
5. Go to the Areas window and re-open the Site Perimeter, apply calculations to the proposed layer, then lower the Site Perimeter sufficiently enough to position the proposed layer beneath the existing layer throughout the site (Figure 2).
Note: You can determine if you have lowered the Site Perimeter sufficiently by viewing job totals. If you have no fill quantities, the proposed layer has been adequately lowered.
6. In the Job Totals window, we will designate the total muck volume as Muck (Total).
7. The total cuts and fills required can be calculated as follows:

  
Total Cut = Cut (Normal) + Muck (Total) - Muck (Normal)

    Total Fill = Fill (Normal) + Muck (Total) - Muck (Normal)

Thanks to Tim Lackey of Herschel H. Lackey and Sons


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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO EXCAVATE UNSUITABLE MATERIAL OVERLAID WITH A USABLE OVERBURDEN
When you have a project requiring you to remove unsuitable material (such as muck) that is overlaid by a usable overburden (such as topsoil) prior to doing mass cut/fill operations, use the following takeoff method to calculate quantities of cut and fill:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevation data, as well as areas.
2. Enter the thicknesses of the topsoil and muck using soil borings.
3. Draw a site perimeter but don't lower elevations.
4. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will designate the total cut and fill quantities as Cut (Normal) and Fill (Normal). We will also designate the topsoil and muck volumes as Topsoil (Normal) and Muck (Normal) (Figure 1).
5. Go to the Areas window and re-open the Site Perimeter, apply calculations to the proposed layer, then lower the Site Perimeter sufficiently enough to position the proposed layer beneath the existing layer throughout the site (Figure 2).
Note: You can determine if you have lowered the Site Perimeter sufficiently by viewing job totals. If you have no fill quantities, the proposed layer has been adequately lowered.
6. In the Job Totals window, we will designate the total topsoil and muck volumes as Topsoil (Total) and Muck (Total).
7. The total cuts and fills required can be calculated as follows:

Total Cut = Cut (Normal) + Topsoil (Total) + Muck (Total) - Topsoil (Normal) - Muck (Normal)
Total Fill = Fill (Normal) + Topsoil (Total) + Muck (Total) - Topsoil (Normal) - Muck (Normal)

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HOW TO HANDLE OVERLAPPING AREAS WHEN GRADE CHANGES ARE APPLIED TO THE SAME LAYER IN USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
Site conditions sometimes require an overlap of areas whose grade changes are applied to the same layer. For example, Figures 1 and 2 show an overlap of proposed areas requiring select fill and paving beyond a building slab. Since grade changes for both overlapping areas are applied to the proposed layer, the total grade change in the overlapped areas will be the sum of the grade change applied to each area, resulting in excessive amount of select fill, as shown in Figure 3.
To solve this problem, digitize the slab area and lower proposed elevations to the bottom of the select fill. Assuming you digitized the area elevation with a contour at finished floor elevation, the total drop in area elevations will be the thickness of the slab, plus the thickness of the select fill, as shown in Figure 4.
Then digitize the overlapping areas and lower proposed elevations equal to the thickness of select fill, less the paving and base thickness as shown in Figure 4*.
Then digitize the paved area* beyond the slab and lower proposed elevations equal to the thickness of the paving and base material as shown in Figure 4.
Be sure to enter the appropriate material descriptions and thicknesses in each Area Properties window
Using our example, each area will consist of the following materials:

Slab = Concrete + Select Fill
Overlap = Select Fill
Paving = Asphalt + Base


*Paving is used as an example in this paper. The material could also be a concrete sidewalk, topsoil replaced area, etc.

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USING AREAS IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO BID PHASED PROJECTS AND ALTERNATES
You can use areas in Quest for Earthwork to bid projects that are broken down into phases, or projects that include alternates.
Simply draw an area around each phase of the project. At the Areas Properties window for any phased area, apply calculations to proposed, but don't lower elevations or enter material descriptions. Prior to opening the Job Totals View, select the desired phase area as the active area. The result will be the cut and fill required only within that area.

Note: You can draw areas as described above around any portion of the project (e.g., ponds, berms, etc.) and view the amount of work required within that area, only.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO HANDLE REMOVING AND RE-COMPACTING EXISTING SOIL
Some projects require that you strip topsoil, then remove an additional thickness of material, then replace the same material in compacted lifts. The rationale is that the native soil is suitable for fill under a structure, but it's not sufficiently compacted. Perform the following steps to handle such a situation:
1. Do the takeoff as you normally do, including lowering existing elevations in the Site Perimeter to strip topsoil.
2. Trace an area around any structure that requires soil removal and replacement (R&R) and lower existing elevations by:
       
Lowering Thickness = Tot. Removal Thickness - (Tot. Removal Thickness / Q)

where:
Q = Number of Bank Cubic Yards Required to Yield Each Compacted Cubic Yard

The result will be that the System will calculate fill from the top of the re-compacted material to proposed grades (Figure 1).

4. In the first Description cell, enter Removed & Replaced Soil and enter the total thickness of the soil removed.

The result will be that in the area data shown in the Job Totals window, the System will display the total volume of material removed and replaced (Figure 2). But keep in mind that this volume is not included in either of the cut or fill quantities displayed in the Job Totals window, and thus, must be priced out separately.
EXAMPLE: Determine the Lowering Thickness if the Total Removal Thickness is 36 inches and it requires 1.10 bank cubic yards (BCY) to yield each compacted cubic yard (CCY).
Solution: Lowering Thickness = 36" - (36" / 1.10)
= 36" - 32.73"
= 3.27 inches

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO TAKE OFF A STRUCTURAL PAD REQUIREING REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT OF NATIVE MATERIAL
Some projects require you to remove and re-compact native material beneath a future structure, then continue construction to structural subgrade (Figure 1). Use the following method to produce an earthwork takeoff under these conditions:
1. Enter existing and proposed grades, as well as areas required.
2. Enter an area around the structure, then lower proposed grades to subgrade elevations.
3. In the first Description cell of the Area Properties window, enter the line: Native Soil R&R (R&R meaning Removed and Replaced). In the remaining Description cells, enter other material descriptions, such as asphalt, base, etc.*
The result will be the volume of fill required between the top of the native material and the structure subgrade, other material required to build the structure, and the volume of native material removed and replaced (Figure 1).
The only hitch is this: The cutting and filling of the native material is not included in the cut and fill quantities displayed in the Job Totals window, and thus, must be priced out separately.
*Note: If you have more than three material descriptions to enter, draw another area around the structure, apply calculations to the Proposed Layer, but don't lower elevations. This will allow you to enter three additional material descriptions associated with the structure.

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ENTERING DATA FOR A RETAINING WALL USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
1. Enter existing contours throughout the site.
2. Enter proposed contours throughout the site, including contours that terminate at the high and low ends of the retaining wall.
3. Use the point contour option to enter proposed point elevations on the high side of the retaining wall, digitizing from proposed contour to proposed contour where they intersect the wall.
4. Repeat the procedure along the low side of the wall.
Note: You will have two point contours running parallel to the retaining wall, one on the high side and one on the low side of the wall.

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DEALING WITH A SITE WITH EXISTING, PROPOSED AND ROCK CONTOUR LINES
Although rare, some site plans show top-of-rock contours extrapolated from soil boring data. Perform the following steps to determine the cut and fill volumes, as well as the rock volumes.
1. Enter existing and proposed elevation data, as well as areas, then run job totals using the Site Perimeter as the Active Area.
2. Save the job, then make a copy by clicking File/SaveAs and renaming the job file.
3. In the second Job File, select the Existing Layer, click Edit, then Select All.
4. Click Edit, then Delete, then OK.
Note: This deletes the original existing contours and points.
5. Change to the Proposed Layer, click Edit, then Select All.
6. Click Edit, then Cut.
7. Change to the Existing Layer, click Edit, then Paste.
Note: This cuts the original proposed contours and points and pastes them into the Existing Layer.
8. Change to the Proposed Layer and enter the top-of-rock contours.
9. Select the Site Perimeter as the Active Area, then run the job totals. The volume of fill displayed will actually be the volume of rock encountered while excavating the site.
10. The various volumes of cut can be determined as follows:
   

Volume of Rock Cut = Volume of Fill (Obtained from the second Job File)

Volume of Soil Cut = Cut (Obtained from the first Job File) - Volume of Rock Cut

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SOIL BORING TIPS
     Since it requires at least three points in space to define the orientation of a plane, you must enter at least three soil boring locations. If you have only one or two boring locations, enter additional borings and enter a layer thickness identical to those of the nearest known soil boring.
     Remembering that we trace existing elevations out to the edge and corners of the drawing field in order to prevent spikes and edge warps in the 3D View, we must do the same with soil borings. This means that you need to digitize additional borings in the four corners of the drawing field, if no borings were drilled at these locations. Simply digitize additional soil borings at the corners of the drawing field then for each "corner" boring, enter the same thickness data as that entered for the nearest "known" boring. We need not enter extra corner soil borings in this project since the borings are already located near the corners of the drawing field.
     We really don't know the thickness of any rock layer because the drilling company stops drilling when they encounter rock (auger refusal). As cautious estimators, we must assume that the rock "goes all the way to China," so we need to enter an adequate rock layer thickness so that any cutting does not occur beneath the rock layer. If our rock layer is not entered adequately thick, the cut volumes displayed in the Job Totals window will be broken out into specific soil types, as well as Unclassified material, where the Unclassified material is actually rock. If this occurs, revisit the Substrata Boring Properties window and increase the rock layer thickness.
     To revisit the Substrata Boring Properties window, click the Plan View icon and change the Layer to one of the strata entered. Click the Select icon and highlight any of the soil boring locations on the mouse pad. Then click the Properties icon to open the Substrata Boring Properties window.
     Many soil boring logs show a wide variety of material layers, including rock. If all you're concerned with is the volume of rock encountered, enter all the layers above the rock as (let's say) DIRT and enter a layer thickness equal to the sum total of all layers above the rock. This will save you a lot of time.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO DETERMINE THE VOLUME OF SPECIAL SURFACE MATERIAL PLACED OVER FILL AREAS
Some earthwork projects require you to place a specific type of material over the surface of any portion of the site requiring fill. As an example, you might be required to place two feet of cobble stones over larger stone, only in areas requiring fill. Use the following takeoff method to calculate the volume of surface material:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevation data, as well as areas.
2. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will designate the volume of fill as Fill 1 (Figure 1).
3. Go to the areas window and re-open the Site Perimeter, apply calculations to the proposed layer, then lower the Site Perimeter by the thickness of the special surface material.
4. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will designate the volume of fill as Fill 2 (Figure 2).
5. The volume of special surface material can be determined by:

Volume (Surface Material) = Fill 1 - Fill 2

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO ACCOUNT FOR TOTAL VOLUMES OF SITE CUT AND FILL, AS WELL AS SELECT FILL UNDER STRUCTURES
Perform the following steps in order to determine the volumes of cut and fill required for a site, as well as the volume of select fill required beneath structural areas such as parking lots and slabs:

CASE 1: SELECT FILL SUBGRADE PARALLEL TO PROPOSED GRADE (Figures 1-6)

1. Enter elevation and area data as you normally do.
2. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut1 and Fill1 (Figure 1).
3. Draw an area around the region requiring select fill, name the area, and apply calculations to proposed; however, lower elevations within the area to the bottom of the structure, only. Select this as the active area and run job totals.* We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut2 and Fill2 (Figure 2).
4. Go back to the Areas View, select the Select Fill Area and lower the area to subgrade elevation.
5. Select the Select Fill Area as the active area and run job totals.* We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut3 and Fill3 (Figure 3).
6. The volumes are then determined by the following equations (Figure 4):
Total Cut = Cut1 + Cut3 - Cut2
The fill quantities depend on the specified job requirements, presenting two possible scenerios:
Scenerio 1: If you are required to place a minimum depth of select fill (Figure 5), the fill volumes are:**
Common Fill = Fill1 - Fill2

Select Fill = Cut3 - Cut2 + Fill2
Scenerio 2: You are allowed to place common fill between the existing surface and the bottom of the select fill, so long as the select fill is placed above a given subgrade elevation (Figure 6), the fill volumes are:**
Common Fill = Fill1 - Fill2 + Fill3

Select Fill = Cut3 - Cut2 + Fill2 - Fill3

CASE 2: SELECT FILL SUBGRADE PARALLEL TO EXISTING GRADE (Figures 7-11)

1. Enter elevation and area data as you normally do.
2. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut1 and Fill1 (Figure 7).
3. Draw an area around the region requiring select fill, name the area, and apply calculations to existing; however, lower elevations within the area to the bottom of the structure, only. Select this as the active area and run job totals.* We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut2 and Fill2 (Figure 8).
4. Go back to the Areas View, select the Select Fill Area and lower the area to subgrade elevation.
5. Select the Select Fill Area as the active area and run job totals.* We will defing the resulting fill volume as Fill3 (Figure 9).
6. The volumes are then determined by the following equations:**
Select Fill = Fill3                 (Figure 9)
Total Cut = Cut1 + Fill3 - Fill2        (Figure 10)
Common Fill = Fill1 - Fill2             (Figure 11)

CASE 3: SELECT FILL IS REQUIRED ONLY FROM EXISTING GRADE TO THE STRUCTURE'S SUBGRADE (Figures 12-14)

1. Enter elevation and area data as you normally do.
2. Select the Site Perimeter as the active area and run job totals. We will define the resulting cut and fill volumes as Cut1 and Fill1 (Figure 12).
3. Draw an area around the region requiring select fill, name the area, and apply calculations to existing; however, lower elevations within the area to the bottom of the structure, only. Select this as the active area and run job totals.* We will define the resulting fill volume as Fill2 (Figure 13).
4. The volumes are then determined by the following equations:**
Total Cut = Cut1

Select Fill = Fill2
Common Fill = Fill1 - Fill2
*If there is more than one area requiring select fill, you can calculate volumes for all select fill areas simultaneously by performing the following steps:
1. Go to the Areas window and select the Area Select icon.
2. Highlight all select fill areas, then click OK.
3. Change the Active Area to Selected Areas, then go to the Job Totals window. The result will be the total volumes of cut and fill required under all select fill areas within the site.           
**Import (or Export) is the difference between the volumes of Total Cut and Common Fill. Also, keep in mind tha Select Fill must usually also be imported.

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DEMOLISHNG EXISTING STRUCTURES IN QUEST FOR EARTHWORK
When you encounter a site with existing structures that must be demolished, such as parking lots, slabs, etc., use the following procedure:
1. Enter elevations and proposed areas as you normally would.
2. Trace an area around each existing structure to be demolished.
3. In each of these areas, apply calculations to the existing layer and lower the area by the thickness of demolished material that you anticipate will be removed. For example, if you are demolishing a four-inch slab, you might anticipate removing around twelve inches of material by the time you take out the footings.
4. Trace the areas beyond the demolition areas where topsoil is to be stripped and lower existing elevations as you normally do when stripping topsoil.
5. Trace a site perimeter that encompasses all the work, but do not lower elevations or strip topsoil.
6. Run job totals using the site perimeter as the active area.

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USING QUEST FOR EARTHWORK TO TAKE OFF A SITE REQUIRING SURCHARGE AT STRUCTURES
Surcharge is a layer of soil placed over structure areas and allowed to settle over a period of time. The outcome is that the soil beneath the surcharge will also settle and be more compact due to the weight of the surcharge overburden. Surcharge is usually used to compress expandable material such as peat or shale; however, it's also used to compress non-expansive soil. Perform the following steps to take off a site requiring surcharge:
1. Enter existing and proposed elevations, as well as areas not requiring a surcharge overburden.
2. Enter any area requiring a surcharge overburden, apply calculations to the proposed layer, then lower elevations to surcharge subgrade. Also enter a Description of Surcharge Placement and enter the thickness of the surcharge overburden (Figure 1). Then enter a Description of Select Fill Placement and enter the thickness of select fill (Don't forget to account for ground loss of the native soil due to the weight of the surcharge)(Figure 2).
The result will be the cut and fill required, the volume of surcharge material and the volume of select (which is not included in the Fill quantity). When pricing out the job, consider the following costs:

1. Cut and Fill
2. Placing the surcharge
3. Removing the surcharge
4. Placing the select fill


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