Exploiting suction to reduce embodied carbon in geotechnical structures

McIntyre, D. and Tarantino, A.; Khalili, Nasser and Russell, Adrian and Khoshghalb, Arman, eds. (2014) Exploiting suction to reduce embodied carbon in geotechnical structures. In: Unsaturated Soils. CRC Press, AUS, pp. 185-190. ISBN 9781138001503

[thumbnail of McIntyre-Tarantino-CRC-2014-Exploiting-suction-to-reduce-embodied-carbon-in-geotechnical]
Text. Filename: McIntyre_Tarantino_CRC_2014_Exploiting_suction_to_reduce_embodied_carbon_in_geotechnical.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (762kB)| Preview


The targets set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 mean that the commitment to cut the CO2 emissions of the United Kingdom is now a matter of legal obligation. Similar legislation is being promulgated in several countries worldwide. The construction industry must therefore develop new techniques for design in order to survive in the 'low-carbon economy'. A study was undertaken to examine whether the inclusion of negative pore-water pressures (or 'soil suction') in the design of a flood embankment could reduce the embodied carbon in the structure. The study found that fully utilising the effects of soil suction in the design could yield potential savings of over 50% in materials. In terms of embodied carbon, this equates to removing 2.3 million car-kilometres from the road for each kilometre of embankment constructed using the new design concept.