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After the typhoon in Taiwan: Testament to an award-winning reinforced slope

Case Studies | February 1, 2010 | By:

Ace Geosynthetics wins top prize in 2009 International Achievement Awards

Aug. 7–10, 2009, were devastating days in Taiwan, when Typhoon Morakot struck the island directly.

The waves of unrelenting rain and wind proved to be the deadliest typhoon ever to strike the island nation. More than 600 people were killed, and the property, structure, and infrastructure damage is estimated at $3.3 billion (U.S.).

One of the lessons learned from this typhoon is that geosynthetic reinforcement can preserve infrastructure improvements in virtually any instance, even against a catastrophic event such as this terrific storm.

In September, Ace Geosynthetics took home the top prize in the Geosynthetic Projects category of the 2009 International Achievement Awards (IAA). The winning entries in the IAA competition were announced during IFAI Expo, the annual conference of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).

Ace’s winning project was a complex road and steep-slope repair in Taiwan, as seen in the photos on page 11. A combination of soil nails and geogrids were key components for this job, located in Pingtung County in southernmost Taiwan.

The primary engineering goal of this project was to enhance the stabilization of the existing slope and disperse lateral earth pressure within the slope, then to fix a connection system on the bearing plate of soil nails with the geogrid to eliminate pullout failure due to insufficient buried length of geogrid.

In retrospect, the award was both well-deserved and prophetic. Ace had to submit the project for the IAA competition two months before Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan.

The road and its supporting wall stood strong—a testament to geosynthetic reinforcement technologies and why the IAA judges were, indeed, correct in recognizing this project.

Sources: Ace Geosynthetics and the 2009 International Achievement Awards entry information

Editor’s Note: The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) invites entries for its 2010 International Achievement Awards (IAA) competition. For more information about the IAAs, contact Christine Malmgren, +1 651 225 6926,,

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