Publication Details

Rujikiatkamjorn, C. & Indraratna, B. (2014). Environmental sustainability of soft soil improvement via vacuum and surcharge preloading. GEO-Congress 2014: Geo-Characterisation and Modeling for Sustainability (pp. 3658-3665). United States: American Society of Civil Engineers.


Due to environmental concerns, sustainable ground improvement is considered a critical part of modern infrastructure development. Current policy on environmental sustainability often expects noise-free, chemical-free, and low carbon emission processes, while being economical. In this context, the application of prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) with vacuum preloading is regarded as one of the most sustainable ground improvement techniques. Compared with other ground improvement methods such as piling and chemical stabilization, this method will not only save a considerable cost in embankment construction, but will also improve the construction rate of coastal highways and rail tracks and their load-carrying capacity. The utilization of vacuum preloading will also minimize environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for mining natural surcharge fill. The FEM code ABAQUS with the equivalent approach is employed to study the performance of a full-scale test embankment constructed in Thailand. A comparison of the performance of the vacuum system with the standard surcharge fill is elucidated including its benefits and environmental impact.



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