This course will cover the engineering theory related to Geocells and the practical application in real life projects. The lecture will be delivered with the aid of PowerPoint presentation, photographs, and videos. Design examples will be worked out during the presentation and, time permitting, the attendees will have the chance to do design by themselves.
The introduction will focus on basics of Geosynthetics and Geocell reinforcement mechanism. Interaction and behaviour of the reinforced soil-Geocell composite will be covered with experimental findings. Roads and load-bearing earthen structures suffer degradation due to a variety of factors, including freeze-thaw cycles, reduced shear strength of the subgrade with moisture intrusion, and lateral spreading of sub-base and base materials. A granular base and sub-base reinforced with high-strength and high-creep resistant Geocell, such as one made of Neoloy, will improve the modulus of the reinforced composite and provide greater stability to the road surface, help to prolong the life of the road, and reduce expensive maintenance and repairs. As the pavement design basically tries to reduce the damage to the pavement structure layers, high modulus structure layers are always desirable.
Geocells also make it possible to use a variety of locally available infills, effectively reducing the environmental impact of quarrying and transporting costly aggregates. They have been in use for about a half century now, but until the end of last decade there was very limited research and practical knowledge. The advent of Neoloy-based Geocells changed the scenario and they are being used for load support applications more frequently than ever. There was a big gap between the theory and practice, so the practitioners (especially, the engineers) were often reluctant to use the material for soil reinforcement. With plenty of research in recent years the situation has changed and engineers have started to design Geocell-reinforced structures with a greater sense of technical understanding. Over 68 countries in the world have recorded cases of successful Neoloy Geocell projects in a variety of environmental conditions.
The speaker is the leader in the research, design, and construction implementation during this period. The presentation will be based on the speaker’s findings from the research work, technical publications, design, and construction experience on the topic of Geocells. The research publications include the works that the speaker did at the University of Kansas and projects he implemented in Canada as well as the validation of the design method. This session will provide a greater understanding of the Geocell reinforcement mechanism and how Geocells make road building more sustainable and less costly over time. The speaker in his research work (Pokharel, 2010) modified the famous Giroud and Han (2004) method for planar geosynthetic reinforcement to the 3D Neoloy-based Geocell reinforcement. The attendees will learn how to use the design method for unpaved road. And how the modulus improvement created by Geocell reinforcement can be incorporated in the AASHTO 1993 design method.
As the need for transportation infrastructure grows, governments and private companies will be expected to provide more with the same or less financial resources. Geocells will play an increasingly vital role in meeting the needs of the future, and today’s civil engineers can start applying this technology now. The lecture will cover the quality assurance and quality control requirement for the projects designed with Geocells with special reference to geotechnical testing and preparation. The speaker will also discuss some projects that he has designed, monitored, and evaluated in Canada. The speaker will also touch upon the sustainability benefit that four different projects recently completed in Canada using PRS-Neoweb, especially the saving in CO2 emission.
Course Outline and Full Description
- Geosynthetics in civil engineering applications.
- Evolution of Geocells and Neoloy Technology of PRS-Neoweb.
- Reinforcement Mechanism and Development of design method:
- Research and development of design method for unpaved roads.
- Design example—unpaved roads.
- Incorporation of improvement factors in AASHTO-1993 design method for paved roads.
- Installation and quality control requirements.
- Case Studies of recently completed projects in Canada.
- Sustainability factors.
Unique Features of the Course
The course will bring the technical knowledge of an upcoming sustainable technology and educate the engineering community in all aspect of it. The speaker has been instrumental in applying Neoloy-based Geocells to build sustainable roads and pads over muskeg in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, and Ontario where CBR values of the subgrade were often less than 1%. These unpaved roads and pads remain relatively maintenance-free after being subjected to heavy cyclic loads and freeze-thaw cycles for years.
Engineers interested in innovative and sustainable technology of Geocell reinforcement for application in improving the geotechnical property of the earthen structure would benefit from this course. Therefore, Engineers involved or interested in design and construction of building roads, highways, railroads, and load-bearing structures, such as worksite pads and parking lots with geosynthetic reinforcement should attend this course. In addition to the design and construction, policy makers, consulting engineers interested in reducing carbon emission from construction related activities and those involved in procurement should attend this session to understand how an innovative design can contribute towards sustainability.
Dr. Sanat Pokharel, P.Eng.
Principal Engineer, Stratum Logics Inc.
With over 28 years of extensive experience in design, construction, and maintenance of civil, geotechnical, and water resource engineering projects, Sanat is the world’s leading expert in the application of the unique PRS-Neoweb Geocell technology. He was granted a United Nation Development Program’s scholarship to study civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology and NORAD scholarship to study M.Sc. from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology majoring in hydropower development. At the University of Kansas he conducted research in planar and 3D geosynthetic reinforcement and completed his doctoral research in the benefits of using Neoloy Geocells in unpaved road design and received his PhD in civil engineering with honours. The results of his studies have been used globally to design and build more stable and longer-lasting railways, roads, and pads. His experience in engineering projects is just as international as his education. In his career as an Engineer, he has designed, constructed, and managed several irrigation, flood and erosion control, access roads, and water induced disasters management projects in Nepal, detailed design of Nepal-India joint High Dam Project, and worked for Sediment Systems A.S., Norway, to install sediment sluicing system in Khimti Hydro Power Project.
In Alberta, he has designed and supervised construction of temporary and permanent roads for oil and gas companies and municipalities, all of which used Neoloy-based PRS-Neoweb geocell as reinforcing structural supports. He has authored/co-authored several peer reviewed journal papers, conference publications, and presentations, dissertations, project reports, or articles.
At present he is a reviewer of major geosynthetic and geotechnical journals. He joined Paradox Access Solutions in 2011, and is now the Principal Engineer of its sister company, Stratum Logics in Acheson, Alberta. His recent involvement includes the PRS-Neoweb reinforced access roads for MEG Energy facilities at Christina Lake, PRS-Neoweb reinforced creek crossing for haul road in Suncor, Ft Hills, Alberta, PRS-Neoweb design of causeway and installation for Grizzly Oil Sands (involved a below water table project near Fort McMurray), logging yard rebuild (PRS-Neoweb) for Canfor in Fort St. John, BC, and several other county and municipal roads and parking lots.