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‘A database and analysis of 236 failed MSE walls using geosynthetic reinforcement’

News | September 6, 2016 | By:

GSI’s September webinar

Webinar overview
Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, berms, and slopes with geosynthetic reinforcement have been developed since the 1970s, first with geotextiles and then geogrids. Our estimate is that approximately 50,000 exist and the technology is utilized worldwide.

Unfortunately, there have been many failures, some with excessive distortion while others have actually collapsed in whole or in part. The main statistical findings of the 236 case histories that we have on file are as follows: (1) 97% were privately owned walls, (2) 70% failed between 2000 and 2010, (3) 81% were in North America, (4) 76% were masonry block faced (i.e., SRWs), (5) 71% were 4m to 12m high, (6) 93% were geogrid reinforced (the others were geotextiles), (7) 78% failed in less than four years, (8) 70% used silt and clay backfill soils, (9) 72% had poor to moderate compaction, (10) 99% were caused by improper design or construction (none were geosynthetic manufacturing failures), (11) 62% caused by internal or external water (the remaining 38% were caused by soil-related issues).

Details of this data set will be described and from it four salient features will be discussed in detail; (1) fine-grained soil backfills, (2) compaction of these same soils, (3) routing of internal drainage systems, and (4) surface and adjacent water control.

Concluding comments will include specific recommendations to designers and contractors alike.

Learning objectives
Participants will become familiar with details of geosynthetic reinforced MSE structures. Different modes of failure (deformation vs. collapse) will be illustrated. These 236 failures will be categorized as soil-related vs. water-related along with the primary accompanying details. This webinar is designed mitigating the number of failures in the future.

Intended audiences
Owners of MSE walls, berms, and slopes in both the public and private sectors; federal, state, and regional geotechnical, transportation, and environmental engineers; engineers from municipal districts and townships; private and municipal land developers, architectural and landscape designers; general civil consulting engineers; testing laboratories servicing these organizations; manufacturers and representatives of geosynthetic materials; contractors and installers of MSE walls, berms, and steep soil slopes; academic and research groups; and others desiring technically related information on this aspect of our constructed infrastructure.

Webinar instructor
The instructor is Dr. Robert M. Koerner, professor emeritus of civil engineering at Drexel University and director emeritus of the Geosynthetic Institute.

11:30–1p.m. (ET) Wednesday, September 14, 2016
GSI members $200 USD
Non-GSI members $250 USD

Source: Geosynthetic Institute (GSI)

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