Back to basics. Civil engineers prepare the Ground so that the other disciplines can start building on it.
Preparing and leveling the Soil
Install Drainage and sewer systems
Building the foundations for Steel structures and Equipment
Lay underground Piping
Erect and outfit buildings
Layout access roads and railways
Before Construction can start, Research has to be done.
The condition of the project site including subsurface and surface condition must be investigated and assessed thoroughly. Site assessment or Geotechnical research may involve determining:
1.1 Investigate the presence of existing underground services (Existing underground Cables, Sewer-lines, Process piping etc.)
Unfortunately underground works are not always proper documented. Over the years the amount of cables, tubes and pipes can become massive. Some off the biggest accident during civil works still accure during the Excavation works. Significant damage at least, deadly accident at worse when cutting power cables.
1.2 Bomb search.
Undetonated bombs from during WW2 are still a serious issue in industrial areas in the Netherlands and Germany. At best, discovering such devices cost a delay. At worst people can get seriously injured or killed.
1.3 Research the level of ground water
Proper drainage is needed to push water away from the structures.
High levels of Groundwater can cause at least difficulties during the Construction Phase. At worst, if not properly researched and taken care of the possibility exists that complete roads or structures are becoming unstable. Continues flooding during raining seasons or high (river) water levels can become a problem. Also, sinkholes could occur undermining streets or even complete foundations.
1.4 Research local geological difficulties such as possible Earthquakes, Flooding etc.
Even a small Earthquake or flooding can have serious consequences. Because of the high usage of Water for Cooling and transport a lot of Chemical Plants and Refineries are located nearby streams or rivers. Pipes or Tanks can burst and spill industrial chemical or oil into the environment. The same can happen when a sudden flood rushes in. Because of climate changes accident while occur more and more and have to be taken into serious account.
1.5 Research whether the site is difficult to excavate or not
Rocky soil, Contaminated soil that needs to be cleaned, vast amounts of surfacing ground water are all reasons for delay during construction and have to be taken into account.
1.6 Research density of the soil.
Is there a Necessity for Piling on foundations yes or no?
Is there a Necessity for soil compaction yes or no? Non-compacted soil can become a hazard when not properly taken care off.