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Technical Paper: Comparative life cycle assessment of geosynthetics versus conventional construction materials

Rolf Frischknecht, Matthias Stucki, Sybille Büsser and René Itten from ESU-services and Holger Wallbaum from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH. This paper was first published in GE’s October 2012 issue.

Introduction

Geosynthetic materials are used in many different applications in the civil and underground engineering. In most cases, the use of geosynthetic material replaces the use of other materials. The authors quantify the environmental performance of commonly applied construction materials (such as concrete, cement, lime or gravel) versus geosynthetics. To this end a set of comparative life cycle assessment studies have been carried out concentrating on various application cases, namely filtration, foundation stabilised road, landfill construction and slope retention. The complete study is available at  the European Association of Geosynthetic product Manufacturers website.

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