Thursday, July 12, 2012

Geotechnical solutions can help reduce carbon emissions of the construction and civil engineering industries

The continuing battle by the British Aggregates Association (BAA) to protect its members’ interests against the UK’s Aggregate Levy, which it has termed a ‘stealth tax’, may have recently received a favourable recommendation from the European Court of Justice, but the so-called victory is not endorsed by all interested parties, points out Tensar International.

“The construction and civil engineering industries are trying to establish a much greener image,” commented Ian Fraser, Tensar’s UK Sales Director. “This could represent a backward step at a time when environmental campaigners are questioning the carbon emissions involved in conventional construction techniques, as well as the extraction of natural resources.

“Perhaps the BAA will also help develop ways to engineer roads, embankments and rail ballast, which are all traditionally high users of quality aggregates, more sustainably to help offset any negative aspects of their actions.

“Geotechnical solutions, such as the geogrids we introduced to the industry and have recently revolutionised with TriAx™, are an established method of reducing carbon emissions,” Fraser continues. “This can be demonstrated with civils applications where aggregate use can be reduced by up to 40% or more, cutting down vehicle journeys and plant use; whether the aggregate attracts a levy or not.

“Substitution of lower grade or recycled aggregates, or even site spoil, crushed concrete and pit slag has been very successfully used for road sub-bases such as at Glasshoughton, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Carbon emission calculations show that up to 50% of carbon emissions can be saved by use of TriAx™ geogrids.”


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