Earthworks Manual - Specific technical developments - 2A - Materials

2A - Materials

The optimal utilisation of materials, locally available on the site, of a road project is today a priority, both from an economic objective and an environmental objective contributing to sustainable development.

Consequently, the identification and knowledge of the resources that materials constitute, are fundamental and require in-depth and high-performance studies.

The materials used in the construction of earth-structures of a road infrastructure come from various sources. We mainly distinguish:

  • natural materials, soils or rocks, available locally on the road project site: cuttings or borrowings; or where applicable, when necessary, borrow pits or quarries (materials most often transformed by mechanical processing operations: screening, crushing, ...).
  • marginal natural materials, when a methodology for using these materials may be appropriate for optimal use.
  • possibly, alternative materials when available close to the project: industrial by-products, non-hazardous waste, etc… the use of which may be of significant environmental interest.

The different types of materials that constitute resources for an economic infrastructure project are presented in 3 booklets that can be downloaded from this page:

  • 2A.I Natural materials soils and rocks,
  • 2A.II Case of marginal materials,
  • 2A.III Alternative materials.


PART 1 - General considerations
PART 2 - Specific technical development

2A / Materials
2B / Treatment of materials
2C / Earthworks project
2D / Earthworks execution and controls
2E / Environmental aspects

Information sheet

  • Date: 2021
  • Author(s): Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico D.4 Terrassements et routes non revêtues / Earthworks and Unpaved Roads / Obras de tierra y caminos no pavimentados
  • Domain(s): Road Earthworks
  • Type: 2A - Materials
  • PIARC Ref.: 2021R02AEN
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-642-0
  • Number of pages: 5

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