The Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) will sponsor a webinar “A Data Base and Analysis of 320 Failed MSE Walls With Geosynthetic Reinforcement,” on Feb. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) member companies and their employees receive discounted rates on all GSI webinar and short course registrations.
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 200,000 exist and the technology is utilized worldwide. Unfortunately, there have been many failures; some with excessive distortion while others have collapsed in whole or part. The main statistical findings of the 320 case histories that we have on file are as follows:
- 98% were private walls
- 70% failed between 1999–2010
- 79% were in North America
- 75% were masonry block faced (i.e., SRWs)
- 83% were 4 to 12 m high
- 94% were geogrid reinforced (others geotextile)
- 75% failed in less than four years
- 73% used silt and clay backfill soils
- 76% had poor or moderate compaction
- 99% caused by improper design or construction; none (0%) were geogrid or geotextile manufacturing failures
- 63% caused by internal or external water (i.e., remaining 37% caused by soil-related issues)
Details of this data set will be described and from it four salient features will be discussed in detail: (i) fine grained soil backfills, (ii) compaction of these same soils, (iii) routing of internal drainage systems and (iv) surface and adjacent water control. Concluding comments will include specific recommendations to designers and contractors alike.
Participants will become familiar with details of geosynthetic reinforced MSE structures. Different modes of failure (deformation versus collapse) will be illustrated. These 320 failures will be categorized insofar as soil related versus water related along with the primary accompanying details. This webinar will hopefully lead to mitigating the large number of current failures in the future.
This webinar will be beneficial to 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; representatives of geosynthetic materials companies; contractors and installers of MSE walls, berms and steep soil slopes; academic and research groups; and others desiring technically related information on this important aspect of our constructed infrastructure.
The webinar’s instructor, Dr. Robert M. Koerner, is professor emeritus of civil engineering at Drexel University, and founder and director emeritus of the Geosynthetic Institute.
Webinars cost $200.00 for GSI and GMA members, and $250.00 for nonmembers. Successful completion of a multiple-choice test after the webinar carries 1.5 professional development hours (PDH).
For more information or to register, click here.