BS 3882:2015 - Specification for topsoil

BS 3882:2015

Specification for topsoil

Status : Confirmed, Current   Published : April 2015



What is this standard about?

Topsoil is a vital component of most landscaping and planting projects. The range of applications is increasing, for example as we learn to manage rainwater using landscape features that soak up and retard runoff.This standard covers natural and manufactured topsoils that are moved or traded, not topsoils remaining in situ. It specifies requirements both for multipurpose topsoil, fit for the majority of needs, and for specialist topsoils that have low fertility or are acidic or calcareous.

Who is this standard for?

It will be useful to anyone involved in landscaping, including:

  • Gardeners
  • Builders
  • Developers
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Utilities
  • Local authorities
  • Environmental consultancies

Why should you use this standard?

It sets out requirements for topsoil classification and composition, specifying characteristics such as texture, acidity and contaminants. It includes information on sampling and analysis and gives guidance on handling and site preparation so that soil is not degraded during excavation, delivery or placement.

What’s changed since the last update?

The standard has now been revised, to align with BS 8601:2013 – Specification for subsoil – and also to reflect changing user experience and growing knowledge. 

Changes include:

  • Revised test parameters to reflect the increased use of composted green waste
  • A new organic matter test that is less damaging to the environment and health, and also cheaper

Standard NumberBS 3882:2015
TitleSpecification for topsoil
StatusConfirmed, Current
Publication Date30 April 2015
Confirm Date15 May 2020
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS ISO 11277:2009, BS ISO 10390:2005, BS EN 12579:2013, BS 7755-3.7:1995, BS ISO 16729:2013, BS EN ISO 3696:1995
Informative References(Provided for Information)BS 1377-2:1990, Environmental Protection Act 1990, PAS 100:2005, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, BS 8601, BS EN ISO/IEC 17025, Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
ReplacesBS 3882:2007
Draft Superseded By14/30297814 DC
DescriptorsChemical analysis and testing, Classification systems, Soil sampling, Top soil, Texture, Stone, Soil testing, Soils, Storage, Chemical properties, Soil improvement, Grades (quality), Soil classification tests, Soil profile, Contamination, Size, Soil science, Materials handling
ISBN978 0 580 85949 6
File Size816 KB

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