Publication Details

Indraratna, B. (2012). Vertical drains, vacuum consolidation & preloading. In N. Denies & H. Noel (Eds.), International Symposium on Ground Improvement (pp. I-47-I-62).


Due to the rapid increase in population, and the subsequent industrial and construction boom, especially in the urban and coastal regions, many countries have intensified the inevitable need for developing infrastructure on problematic soils, including soft compressible clays and deposits with low bearing capacities. Moreover, good quality geological materials for construction are also becoming scarce, a problem exacerbated by the numerous environmental constraints imposed in various countries. Because of these reasons, and environmental restrictions on certain public works, ground improvement has now become an integrated and essential component of infrastructure development. Consequently, civil engineers are forced to utilise even the softest and weakest of natural deposits for foundations, and therefore, the application of ground improvement techniques, including preloading and consolidation, vacuum consolidation, among other methods, have now become common practice in heavy construction. There are 8 papers allocated to this Technical Session, composed of 25 Authors and co-authors from 5 countries. This General Report attempts to offer a review of the majority of papers that have made significant contributions, but due to its imposed brevity, not all the papers could be reviewed and commented on in detail. Nevertheless, brief comments on all papers have been provided, as warranted, to provide a balanced overview of the entire Technical Session. Most papers elucidate already established technologies, but provide greater insight into the processes, supplemented with well compiled field and laboratory data. While a few papers have drawn on modified theoretical concepts, most papers presented field studies, including comparisons between predictions and observations, as warranted. The following part of the Report describes the contributions to this session in relation to vertical drains and vacuum consolidation.

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