To meet the needs of constantly growing populations worldwide, there is an urgent need to create a strong, durable, and resilient civil infrastructure. However, given the current state of global environmental challenges and the scarcity of natural resources, it is imperative to opt for sustainable practices in civil engineering construction. Sustainability principles promote environmentally friendly practices with a focus on reduction in energy consumption, lower carbon emission during construction and reduced consumption of transported/manufactured materials by recommending the utilization of recycled/waste and locally available materials.
Sustainable construction requires sustainable solutions which cut down the maintenance cost to provide long- term solutions and thus reduce the stress on the environment to provide a sustainable life cycle. When compared with conventional methods of construction, construction techniques with geosynthetics solutions have frequently proved to be sustainable, environment friendly and economical alternative.
Geosynthetics play a major role in developing sustainable civil infrastructure due to their high strength, durability, lightweight, and environmentally friendly properties. The geosynthetics facilitate easier and faster construction, thereby reducing the project's cost and energy requirement. Geosynthetics provide sustainable solutions to many problems that practicing engineers face while dealing with projects involving soils, rocks and similar materials, such as coal ashes and mine tailings.
Modern materials such as geosynthetics are the need of the hour to provide quality and long-term sustainability to the infrastructure. The polymeric nature of geosynthetics makes them a perfect choice to be used in a place where a great level of durability is required and gives them an edge over other alternative solutions. There are myriad geosynthetic options to solve an array of problems efficiently in any construction project and can be used for basic applications of separation, drainage, filtration, reinforcement, and protection. Not just that, geosynthetics can significantly reduce capital and maintenance costs and curtail construction time.
Geosynthetics as a Construction Material
Geosynthetics is a generic name representing a broad range of products, such as geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, geocells, geofoams and geocomposites. They are manufactured under controlled conditions, mainly from the synthetic polymeric materials (e.g., polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide and polystyrene). Geosynthetics are designed for use in contact with soil, rock and/or any other civil engineering-related material as an integral part of a human-made project, structure, or system.
Geonaturals (products based on natural fibres), such as jute, coir and bamboo, are also being used in contact with soil, rock and/or other civil engineering-related material, especially in the temporary/short-life ground applications. In fact, the geonaturals are also polymeric materials since they contain a large proportion of naturally occurring polymers such as lignin and cellulose, and they are a part of geosynthetics.
Sustainable Landfills with Geosynthetics