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Geotechnical details Tuesday 23 May

9.45 Theatre B The benefits of off-site fabrication of reinforcement for the construction industry. Alan McDonack, ROM.

Applications of the expanding range of specialist reinforcement products provided by ROM's engineering, research & development, tunnelling and piling divisions. These take the company, often simply described as a reinforcement supplier, into many interrelated sectors of construction. It says its bespoke prefabricated reinforcement mats and cages offer time and cost savings for a wide range of concrete structures.

10.15 Theatre A Influence of sustainable design thinking and new technologies on construction materials. Peter Head, Maunsell Group.

A look at some of the technologies and materials of the future. Examples will be given of different approaches including lifecycle assessment, minimum material content and minimum operational energy. Real applications of this thinking will be given with reference to how this may change the way materials are used.

12.45 Theatre B Design and construction experience in reinforced soil. Dave Woods, Comtec.

13.45 Theatre B Breaking the mould - Successful implementation of rope access techniques on major construction projects: the Dome, London Eye and Camp Bay Cliff, Gibraltar. John Batty, CAN Civil Engineering Services.

In 1998/99 the CAN Group installed the Millennium Dome roof, played a key role in the erection of the Millennium Wheel and installed 30m permanent anchorages in an 80m high cliff in Gibraltar. In all projects the primary means of access was industrial rope access techniques. John Batty will explain how leading players in the rope access industry are challenging preconceptions as to what can be achieved using rope systems.

14.15 Theatre A Partnerships for contractors - who dares wins. Peter Andrews, Jackson Civil Engineering.

A contractor's honest view of industry practices, good and bad. Questions posed and answered will include: Is the selection process too long, too costly and ineffective?

Does the client end up with the contractor he seeks or does the contractor end up with the client he deserves? How are the right attitudes maintained to ensure a peaceful conclusion? What is an acceptable profit level for a contractor? How can all the potential benefits identified by the Construction Best Practice programme and the Movement for Innovation be properly harnessed?

14.45 Theatre B Specifying and selecting woven geotextiles for efficient filtration. Dr Paul Watson, Don & Low.

Surely the most efficient filtration will result when the pore size of a geotextile is as small as possible? Wrong! Woven geotextiles tend to have larger pore sizes than other geotextiles but this presentation illustrates that wovens often filter more efficiently, both in the short and the long term. Arguably, conventional 'one size fits all' filter designs should be reviewed and the specification of filter layers should allow for the fact that woven geotextiles perform differently.

16.15 Theatre A Construction of retaining walls within urban environments. David Beadman, Bachy Soletanche.

Design guidelines will be discussed for piled and diaphragm retaining walls, reviewing the potential for overdesign and the practical needs of the various construction methods.

Innovative techniques to overcome potential obstructions to the installation of the wall will be described. Case histories include the Jubilee Line Extension stations, the Copenhagen Metro stations and City of London basements.

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