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Have your say on proposed standards

Steve Corbet provides an update on European Standards for geosynthetics.

THERE ARE now 17 European EN standards covering various tests and a further 10 are due to be published this year.

The group of standards with the title 'Required Characteristics for Application' are particularly significant as these lead to the CE marking of geosynthetics.

These documents have just had their first public circulation. The next and final round of circulation should start at the end of 1999. If you want to comment (these documents can affect all manufacturers and users of geosynthetics), get a copy from BSI and send your remarks to the secretary of B553.

CEN is working on a standard for reinforced soil and strengthened earthworks, including soil nailing, as part of its series of standards for 'Special Geotechnical Works'. This will cover good practice in detailing, site control and workmanship, with an 'informative annex' setting out design principles, based on BS 8006. Publication of the first draft is expected in late this year or early 2000.

One of the most contentious subjects being discussed is the place for geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) in the family of geomembranes. The French and Germans want these products downgraded to be classed as 'geomembrane related products', in line with definitions used in these countries. Others, led by the UK, consider GCLs should be defined as geomembranes in their own right. Any contributions on this debate should be sent to the BSI or the letters pages of GE.

The International Geosynthetics Society is just starting work on an educational video titled Geosynthetics in Reinforced Soil. It needs copies of video footage or 35mm slides showing installations of geosynthetics for reinforcement in both old and new construction works. For details contact Terry Ingold ( or Steve Corbet (spc@maunsell.

This video will be the third in a series produced by the society. The first was Geosynthetics in Highway Applications, followed by Geosynthetics in Wastes Disposals. Both are available from the IGS secretary, Pete Stevenson (email:

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