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Re: Excavating close to a building

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ACI has several documents on Controlled Low Strength Material (CLSM). 

Controlled Low-Strength Materials (CLSM) (ACI 229R-99),
Design and Application of Controlled Low-Strength Materials (Flowable Fill)
(ATSM STP 1331)
Controlled Low-Strength Materials (SP-150).

CLSM is typically designed to have a compressive strength of between 50 to
140 psi.  While this may seem low it is still stronger than backfill.  This
low strength is necessary to make it feasible to excevate the material in
the future in case the pipes etc  need to be accessed.  This is one place
where stronger is not necessarily better.

At least one firm ( is advertising that this material can
meet specifications of Illinois Department of Transportation.

Mark Gilligan


From: Daryl Richardson <h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: Excavating close to a building
To: seaint(--nospam--at)


        There is one thing you could consider: there is a product which I
heard of under a variety of names; these include "flowable fill" and
"non compressible fill".  The material is, in fact, 500 p.s.i. to 800
p.s.i. concrete.  The material is removable with excavation equipment if
required; and, for some installations, it is actually less expensive
than placing and compacting regular fill.

        You might be able to convince them to use this, particularly if you
willing to share the cost.

                                Best regards,

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