Geotechnical Engineering For Greener, Safer And Cost Effective Ground Solutions In Land Development-GREET 01
GreenRE organised their first GreenRE Evening Talks (GREET) on 15 May 2018 at Wisma Rehda. The talk, 'Geotechnical Engineering for Greener, Safer & Cost Effective Ground Solutions in Land Development', was presented by Mr Narendranathan Nagamuttu, the Managing Director of Infra Tech Group. Crowd turn out was fair, given the interesting topic being discussed that evening. Over 20 attendees including GreenRE and ESD Greentech staff filled the lecture hall.
Ground. Something simple. Something that we all stand on and build on, keeps us stable. However, little do we know the amount of work and solutions that goes into making that possible. Despite common beliefs, ground isn’t just sand, dirt and rocks. To a geologist or civil engineer in construction, ground is complex base and it can be unpredictable.
The first question that arise from deciding to build a building at a location is; how is the ground? An unexpectedly simple question, however, the answer is anything but. There are apparently many types of ground conditions which are unsuitable for construction or in some cases requires extensive work.
The conventional way? Avoid bad soil and bore as many holes to find the so called “good” ground. This method is as expensive as it is old and outdated. There is unnecessary wastage of resources by using the conventional method. Fortunately, there is a better and more sustainable way of going about it.
It is possible to scan the ground much like an ultrasound or an MRI to identify what’s beneath the surface. According to the presenter, an experienced team would be able to determine the various composition of soils, material, hollow spaces and water under the surface by just performing scans. The requirement to needlessly bore vast amounts of holes can be negated. A point made very clearly by the presenter emphasizing the massive cost savings from the reduction in boring.
Another interesting thing to be mentioned was that R&D in the “ground and earth” sector is nearly non-existent. Which is why the breakthrough and improvements made in compressing the ground is said to be the “moon landing” of this industry. With these improvements, soil compression and strengthening which is normally done 1 foot at a time can now be done several feet at a go. This not only saves time but also the diesel used in those machineries. Hence, making it much more environmentally sustainable.
If we are building a Green Building, why not start from the “Ground” up.