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Geosynthetics opportunities at IFAI Expo

October 1st, 2013 / By: / Updates

The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) is one of a dozen divisions at the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). IFAI is holding its annual Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013 plus the Advanced Textiles Conference and Trade Show Oct. 22–25 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The 2013 edition of IFAI Expo is co-locating with the 2013 Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Expo. There will be more than 400 exhibitors from the industrial fabrics industry including some geosynthetic manufacturers.

GMA is sponsoring the Green Roofs for Designers symposium during the Expo on Oct. 24, 5–8 p.m. This program is free for architects and landscape architects and is geared toward education about the geosynthetic materials used in the design and construction of green roofs.

Attendees of this symposium will qualify for three (3.0) continuing education credits via the American Institute of Architects. The symposium also qualifies for Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW), and Sustainability credits.

The symposium will include case studies, design considerations, and the proper selection of materials. Geosynthetic material samples will be provided to attendees. Connect with your peers during the closing reception that will feature a photo display of green roof projects, material samples, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. The speakers for this symposium are:

  • Glenn Acomb, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA) and senior lecturer, University of Florida. His topics include: “Overview of green roofs, applications and benefits” and “ Issues of application in Florida.”
  • Allan Wingfield, Bonar, “The role of geosynthetics in green roofs.”
  • Carrie Stevenson, coastal sustainability agent, University of Florida Extension–Escambia County, “Green roof case studies.”

This is the fourth year that GMA has sponsored a geosynthetics in green roofs symposium at IFAI Expo. For more information: IFAI Expo.

Roadways short course

Also at the IFAI Expo, GMA and the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS) are offering a short course, “Geosynthetics in roadways,” Oct. 23 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Course instructors are Barry Christopher, Ph.D., P.E., and Dave Suits, MSCE. Christopher is an independent geotechnical engineering consultant and is an expert in geosynthetic applications and design as well as geosynthetic testing and instrumentation. Suits is the executive director of NAGS and was previously with the state of New York Department of Transportation.

This course for engineers and roadway professionals will provide training on the cost-effective use of geosynthetic materials in roadways and will cover the use of geotextiles, geogrids, and edge drains in pavement structures. Applications examined during this short course include: filtration, drainage, roadway separation, roadway reinforcement, subgrade improvement, and pavement overlays.

Short course participants will receive 6.0 professional development hours (PDHs) for this one-day course. To register and for more information: GMA.

State and local lobbying update

This column has previously reported on GMA’s State and Local Government Relations Program. One of the first states GMA visited was Illinois and meetings with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. We have had great follow up by both of these agencies. The Illinois EPA has reached out to GMA regarding information on using geosynthetic materials to reinforce walls and slopes in landfills.

IDOT also requested that GMA provide content and comments on the rewriting of the IDOT Geotechnical Manual. GMA made substantial edits and provided additional content for this manual. Had GMA not been in front of IDOT, the content about geosynthetic materials could have been overlooked.

GMA also met with officials from the Texas DOT. The need for more geosynthetics education was identified during this initial meeting and GMA is now working with TxDOT to formulate a plan to bring geosynthetics coursework to relevant employees.

Andrew Aho is the managing director of the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA).

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