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CHAPTER V

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION




5.1 Introduction


In the first part of this chapter, the findings on advantages of reinforced soil
slope using Geogrid has been explained in detail and the summary on advantage of
reinforced soil slope using Geogrid as comparison to other types of reinforced soil
structure has been tabulated. The findings on the cost comparison for Geogrid
reinforced slope with reinforced soil wall and crib wall are also been discussed in this
chapter. The last part of this chapter explains on the case study that has been carried out
on the use of geogrid for the construction of a 45° (1V:1H) slope and the analysis on
the slope stability.






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5.2 Advantage of Reinforced Soil Slope Using Geogrid


The advantages of reinforced soil slope using Geogrid are :

i) A new dimension in versatility and new possibilities in
earthwork construction.

The attractiveness of reinforced structures lies not just in cost
effectiveness. First, the reinforced soil technique introduces a new dimension in
versatility and new possibilities in earthwork construction, which were
previously not feasible, e.g. in terms of slope angle, height and load carrying
capacity. This is because by reinforcing the soil with a strong structural element,
a new composite material with greatly enhanced properties is now available for
providing solutions to a wide range of problems. Whereby, this versatility could
not be achieved in the conventional earthworks solution methods.


ii) Reduce land area and volume of earthworks

Reinforced soil is a very versatile solution for slope rehabilitation (re-
construction) works. This is because by reinforcing the soil, it is feasible to alter
the slope profile by providing a steep section at any location along the slope.
This steep section can be of any angle up to 90°, i.e. vertical. A steep section
requires less land area and can reduce the volume of earthworks. Wherelse, the
conventional earthworks solution only allows for gentle slopes, whereby, gentle
section requires more land area and increase the volume of earthworks.




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iii) Allowing usage of lower quality fills

Since the geogrids are not subject to corrosions, use of lower quality fills
such as cohesive are allowed. In this connection, residual soils derived from
granite, sandstone/shale and other rocks have been used successfully in many
projects. This is also an advantage in hilly terrain where access may be difficult
or in areas where good quality fills are not available. Other types of reinforced
soil structure such as reinforced soil wall, which uses metal strips as the
reinforcements, are not allowed to use lower quality fill materials. This is
because metal strips are subject to corrosions.


iv) Enhance speed of construction

Simple construction method are used in geogrid reinforced earth
structures. No heavy construction vehicles or machineries, and no construction
formworks are required. All these factors contributes to the speed of
construction. The conventional method such as reinforced concrete wall requires
heavy machineries and construction formwork, whereby slows the speed of
construction.


v) Facilitates the reduction of pore water pressure

This method provides sufficient drainage capacity by providing sand
drainage column, enabling it to drastically reduce the flow paths in the
reinforced soil. These, facilitates the reduction of pore water pressure, improves
shear characteristics and thereby increases stability. In the other types of
reinforced soil structures, woven fabrics type of geosynthetic soil reinforcement,
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offers lower drainage capacity. This can result in the formation of slip surfaces
in the fabric-soil interface.


vi) Provides high-tensile modulus

Creep is defined as the change in length resulting from long periods under
constant loads. This reduces tensile strength in long term behaviour. Geogrids
are very high strength polymer reinforcements made of polyethylene or
polypropylene, which demonstrates a very low creep tendency. Therefore,
geogrids with high tensile strength at low elongation, provides excellent
reinforcement characteristics and minimum deformation. The use of reinforcing
strips, such as galvanized steel strips in other types of reinforced soil structures,
demonstrates a very high creep tendency and provides high deformation, and do
not provide good reinforcement characteristics.


vii) Provides Aesthetical view and environmental friendly

Since the surface finish for steep slope can be turfed, or planted with
creepers, these advantage could be utilized to enhance its appearance. The
versatility of geogrid plays an important part in creating environment-friendly
and attractive green slopes. As the structures allows for vegetation on the slope
surface, this method can be adopted in environmentally critical applications,
such as structures in nature reserve areas. The conventional reinforced concrete
structures or reinforced soil walls does not provide surface for greeneries.




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viii) Cost effectiveness

Geogrids facilitates reduction in land use and earthworks volume,
allowable for lower quality fill materials, simple construction and shorter period,
no heavy machineries and construction formworks. All these factors contributes
to cost savings. Wherelse, in the conventional reinforced concrete structures or
other types of reinforced soil structures, greater earthworks volume, import of
suitable fill materials, complicated construction method, usage of heavy
machineries and construction formworks, increases the overall construction cost.






















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5.3 Comparison on Advantage of Reinforced Soil Slope Using Geogrid With
Other Types of Reinforced Soil Structure


The advantage of reinforced soil slope using Geogrid as compare to other types
of reinforced soil structure are summarized in Table 5.1.


Table 5.1 : Summary on advantages of reinforced soil slope using geogrid as
comparison to other types of reinforced soil structure

Items Reinforced Soil Slope
Using Geogrid
Other Types of Reinforced
Soil Structures
Versatility By reinforcing the soil with a strong
structural element, a new composite
material with greatly enhanced
properties is providing versatility
and new possibilities in earthwork
construction, e.g. in terms of slope
angle, height and load carrying
capacity.
Not versatile in conventional
earthworks solution.
Land area and
earthworks
volume
Feasible to alter or to construct
steep slopes, up to 90° angle. A
steep section requires less land area
and can reduce the volume of
earthworks.
Conventional earthworks
solution only allows for gentle
slopes, where gentle section
requires more land area and
increase the volume of
earthworks.




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Table 5.1 : Summary on advantages of reinforced soil slope using geogrid as
comparison to other types of reinforced soil structure (Cont’d)

Items Reinforced Soil Slope
Using Geogrid
Other Types of Reinforced
Soil Structures
Fill materials Geogrids are not subject to
corrosions, therefore, lower quality
of fill materials such as cohesive
soil are allowed.
Lower quality fill materials are
not suitable in reinforced soil
structures using metal strip
reinforcements.
Construction
durations
Simple construction method are
used and no heavy construction
vehicles or machineries and no
construction formworks are
required, therefore enhance speed
of construction.
The conventional reinforced
concrete structures requires
heavy construction vehicles or
machineries and construction
formworks, whereby slow the
speed of construction.
Pore water
pressure
This method provides sufficient
drainage capacity by providing sand
drainage column, therefore, it
facilitates the reduction of pore
water pressure.
Woven fabrics type of
geosynthetic soil
reinforcement, offers lower
drainage capacity, whereby, it
may increase the pore water
pressure.
High tensile Geogrids are very high strength
polymer reinforcements, whereby
demonstrates a very low creep
tendency and provides excellent
reinforcement characteristics and
minimum deformation.
The use of reinforcing strips,
e.g. galvanized steel strips,
demonstrates a very high creep
tendency and provides high
deformation do not provides
good reinforcement
characteristics.



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Table 5.1 : Summary on advantages of reinforced soil slope using geogrid as
comparison to other types of reinforced soil structure (Cont’d)
Items Reinforced Soil Slope
Using Geogrid
Other Types of Reinforced
Soil Structures
Aesthetical
view
Finished slope surface can be turfed
or planted with creepers, which
creates environment friendly and
attractive green slopes.
The conventional reinforced
concrete structures or
reinforced earth walls does not
provide surface for greeneries.
Cost Reduction in land use and
earthworks volume, allowable for
lower quality fill materials, simple
construction and shorter period, no
heavy machineries and construction
formworks, are major factors
contributes to cost savings.
Greater earthworks volume,
usage of suitable fill materials,
complicated construction
methods, usage of heavy
machineries and construction
formworks increases the
overall construction cost.




5.4 Cost Comparison for Reinforced Soil Slope Using Geogrid With Other
Types of Reinforced Soil Structure


Costing for reinforced soil slope using Geogrid is shown in Table 5.2 and for the
cost comparison purpose, costing for two more types of reinforced soil structure namely
reinforced soil wall and crib wall are calculated, as shown in Table 5.3 and Table 5.4
accordingly. The summary on cost comparisons are shown in Table 5.5.

From the summary on cost comparisons as shown in Table 5.5, a relationship on
cost have been derived between the three types of reinforced soil structures. It shows
that the cost for reinforced soil slope is RM 206,913.00 (21.89%) cheaper than the cost
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for reinforced soil wall. And, the cost for reinforced soil slope is RM 313,088.00
(29.78%) cheaper than the cost for crib wall. From the above, it may established that the
cost of construction for reinforced soil slope are in the range of 20% to 30% cheaper, as
compare to the cost of construction for reinforced soil wall and crib wall.

The construction of reinforced soil wall requires reinforced concrete panels,
galvanized reinforcing strips, good quality fill materials, heavy construction
machineries and skill workers, which may contributes to the higher overall construction
cost. As for the crib wall, the crib units together with the infill are designed to act
together as a gravity structure, retaining the upper slope. Since the bearing pressure
from the reinforced block was excessive for the foundation soil, piles were provided for
external stability. The piling works and reinforced concrete crib units are the main
contribution factors for the high overall construction cost.


















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Table 5.2 : Costing for reinforced soil slope using geogrid

Item
No.
Description Unit Qty Rate
(RM)
Amount
(RM)

1


2






3
3.1


3.2



3.3

3.4



Excavation to formation level for
Tensar geogrid reinforced
embankment.
Supply and install Tensar geogrids
as reinforcing element inclusive of
backfilling and compaction
cohesive frictional materials for the
construction of the reinforced
embankment from excavated
platform.
Surface and Sub-soil Drainage.
Supply and install 1000mm x
500mm thick sand column spaced
5.0m centre to centre.
Supply and install 100mm dia.
UPVC perforated sub-soil pipe
wrapped around with geotextile
space at 5.0m centre to centre.
Provide 1000mm thick crusher run
base.
Supply and install 600mm thick
sand base layer.


Cu.m


Sq.m







Cu.m


M



Cu.m

Cu.m


14,600
3,100
196
264
1,120
364

6.50


155.00







48.00


24.00



48.00

36.00
94,900.00
480,500.00
9,408.00
6,336.00
53,760.00
13,104.00
Amount Carried Forward 658,008.00



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Table 5.2 : Costing for reinforced soil slope using geogrid (Cont’d)



3.5


3.6

3.7

3.8

3.9

3.10


4
4.1


Amount Brought Forward

Provide rock toe inclusive of
geotextile separator to the
reinforced embankment.
Provide aggregate layer behind the
rock toe.
Provide 300mm depth drain at toe
of reinforced embankment.
Provide 300mm depth drain at berm
of reinforced embankment.
Provide cascaded drain at
reinforced embankment.
Sump with size 1000 x 1000 x
750mm with 150mm thick both
side brickwall.
Turfing.
Supply and install close turfing/
Hydroseeding to Tensar Geogrid
Reinforced slope.





M


M

M

M

M

No.



Sq.m

205
205
194
284
34
4
3,950


75.00


24.00

65.00

70.00

225.00

776.00



4.20

658,008.00
15,375.00
4,920.00
12,610.00
19,880.00
7,650.00
3,104.00
16,590.00
Total Amount 738,137.00





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Table 5.3 : Costing for reinforced soil wall

Item
No.
Description Unit Qty Rate
(RM)
Amount
(RM)

1



2

3

4


5






6


Excavate trench for levelling pad to
reduce level including backfilling,
compaction and disposal of surplus
excavated material from site.
Imported sand backfill behind
precast concrete facing wall panel.
Mass concrete Grade 20 in levelling
pad (350mm x 150mm high).
Supply of precast concrete wall
facing panel not exceeding 8.0m
high.
Erection and installation of precast
concrete facing wall panel not
exceeding 8.0m high including
providing vertical joint comprising
of 150mm concrete cube,
galvanized ribbed steel
reinforcement strips.
Supply and place geotextile
membrane.


Cu.m



Cu.m

Lin.m

Sq.m


Sq.m






Sq.m


50
9,100
200
1,500
1,500

2,000

15.00



25.00

10.50

450.00


5.00






4.00

750.00
227,500.00
2,100.00
675,000.00
7,500.00

8,000.00
Amount Carried Forward 920,850.00




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Table 5.3 : Costing for reinforced soil wall (cont’d)



7

8

9
9.1

Amount Brought Forward

Supply and install close turfing to
slope as specified.
Carry out pull-out test to
specified requirement.
Berm Drain.
Supply and construct 230mm half
round precast concrete drain
complete inclusive of 1:3:5 mass
concrete base, lean concrete,
formwork, jointing, haunching
etc. all as shown in the drawings
and all necessary excavation,
backfills and disposal of surplus
excavated material.












Sq.m

No.


M
1,000
2
200


4.20

2,000.00


80.00
920,850.00
4,200.00
4,000.00
16,000.00
Total Amount 945,050.00



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Table 5.4 : Costing for crib wall

Item
No.
Description Unit Qty Rate
(RM)
Amount
(RM)

1

2




2.1

2.2

2.3

2.4











Excavate to formation level for
crib wall embankment.
Grade 25 concrete for various
header sizes of cribwall
foundation including steel bars,
all necessary excavation, backfill,
compact and returf existing slope.
Single 1320mm header cribwall
base.
Single 1620mm header cribwall
base.
Double 1320mm header cribwall
base.
Tripple 1320mm header cribwall
base.







Cu.m






M

M

M

M




2,700
100
100
6
20

6.50






350.00

400.00

500.00

650.00





17550.00
35000.00
40000.00
3000.00
13000.00
Amount Carried Forward 108,550.00

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Table 5.4 : Calculation for crib wall (cont’d)

Item
No.
Description Unit Qty Rate
(RM)
Amount
(RM)

3



3.1

3.2

3.3

3.4

4

4.1


4.2

4.3

4.4

4.5
4.6
Amount Brought Forward
Supply and install cribwall of
various headers sizes, complete
with stretcher and crusher run
infill within the wall.
Height up to 3.0m

Height between 3.0m to 5.0m.

Height between 5.0m to 6.0m.

Height above 6.0m.

305mm x 305mm x 97kg/m
Sheet H-Pile.
Supply, transport, handle and
pitch 12m length sheet H-pile.

Drive vertical pile.

Cut of surplus length.

Pile connection.

Pile head.
Working load.






Sq.m

Sq.m

Sq.m

Sq.m



M


M

No.

No.

No.
No.



200
300
35
140
2,400
2,400
200
200
200
2





250.00

300.00

385.00

500.00



250.00


14.00

46.00

92.00

200.00
1,000.00
108,550.00

50,000.00
90,000.00
13,475.00
70,000.00
600,000.00
33,600.00
9,200.00
18,400.00
40,000.00
2,000.00
Amount Carried Forward 1,035,225.00
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Table 5.4 : Calculation for crib wall (cont’d)

Item
No.
Description Unit Qty Rate
(RM)
Amount
(RM)


5
5.1
Amount Brought Forward

Berm Drain.
Supply and construct 230mm
half round precast concrete drain
complete all as shown in the
drawings and all necessary
excavation, backfills and
disposal of surplus excavated
material.
















M

200



80.00
1,035,225.00


16,000.00
Total Amount 1,051,225.00




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Table 5.5 : Summary on cost comparison for geogrid reinforced soil slope with
reinforced soil wall and crib wall


No.

Types of Soil Structure


Total Cost

1

Geogrid Reinforced Slope


RM 738,137.00

2

Reinforced Soil Wall


RM 945,050.00

3

Crib Wall


RM 1,051,225.00





5.5 Findings of the Case Study on the Use of Geogrid for the Construction
of a 45° (1V : 1H) slope


5.5.1 Design Calculation


Winslope Tensar Reinforced Slope design program are used to analyse the
circular failure surfaces. Circular slip surfaces are analysed using a modified form of
Bishop’s Simplified Method. The theory used in the Winslope design program are
elaborated in APPENDIX A1 - A4. The geogrid long term design strength are
elaborated in APPENDIX B1 - B3.
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Calculations are carried out at two locations, namely section 2 - 2 and 4 – 4, as
shown in Figure 4.1. Results for the calculations at the two locations are printed out
from the computer and attached in APPENDIX C1 – C9. The results show that circle
with the lowest factor of safety at section 2 – 2 is 1.64 and circle with the lowest factor
of safety at section 4 – 4 is 1.45. In conclusion, the results shows that circle with the
lowest factor of safety are 1.45, which means, it is more than the required 1.3 minimum
factor of safety.




5.5.2 Construction of Geogrid Reinforced Soil Slope


The existing slope, which encroaches into the proposed residential lots, has been
excavated and reconstructed at a steeper slope angle, as shown in Figure 5.1 and Figure
5.2. A specialist contractor has been appointed to carry out the construction works. The
construction procedures and sequences are as follows:

A) Excavation
i) The excavation are carried out to the lines and grades shown in the
construction drawings.
ii) The contractor are required to be careful not to disturb beyond the
lines shown.

B) Subgrade Preparation
i) Sub grade are excavated as required for placement of leveling pad as
shown on the construction drawings.
ii) Subgrade are examined by the Engineer to ensure that the actual
foundation conditions meet or exceed design assumptions.
iii) As a minimum, soil are proof rolled before construction proceeds.
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iv) Sub grade conditions not meeting the required strength are been
removed and replaced with accepted materials.
v) Over excavated areas are replaced with structural backfill material to
the lines and grade shown on the construction drawings.

A) Geogrid Installation
i) Geogrid are oriented with the highest strength axis perpendicular to
the slope alignment.
ii) Geogrid reinforcement are placed at the elevations and extents shown
on the construction drawing.
iii) The geogrid are laid horizontally on compacted backfill.
iv) The geogrid are pulled taut and anchored prior to backfill placement
on the geogrid.
v) Geogrid are to be continuous throughout their embedment lengths.
Spliced connections between shorter pieces of geogrid are not
allowed.
vi) No joints or overlap are required between the adjacent lengths of
geogrid reinforcements longitudinal wise of slope, thus the geogrid
are just placed side by side.

D) Reinforced Backfill Placement
i) reinforced backfill are placed, spread and compacted in such a
manner that minimizes the development of slack in the geogrid.
ii) Reinforced backfill are placed and compacted in lifts not to exceed
150mm where hand compaction is used, or 250mm where heavier
compaction equipment is used.
iii) Reinforced backfill are been compacted to 90% of the maximum
density.
iv ) Tracked construction equipment are not allowed to operate directly
upon the geogrid reinforcement. A minimum fill thickness of 150mm
is required prior to operation of tracked vehicles over the geogrid.
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v) Tracked vehicle turning are kept to a minimum, to prevent tracks
from displacing the fill and damaging the geogrid.
vi) Rubber tired equipment may pass over geogrid at slow speed, less
than 16KPH. Sudden breaking and sharp turning are not allowed.

Daily site visit has been done to observe and monitor the progress of the
construction works. Frequent discussion and brain storming with the client, consultant
and contractors have been done on site to identify any site problems arise during the
construction, and to decide the best solutions for improvement and to overcome the
problems. Figure 5.3 to Figure 5.10 shows some of the construction activities during the
construction of the geogrid reinforced soil slope.

Sub-soil drainage system is provided in the reinforced soil slope to drain out
excess ground water, if any. The top of the slope is further stabilized with the provision
of berm, and surface drainage is also provided to take care of the surface runoff during
raining seasons. Figure 5.11 to Figure 5.18 shows some of the completed geogrid
reinforced soil slope features.














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Figure 5.1 : Typical section of geogrid reinforced soil slope at section 2-2





Figure 5.2 : Typical section of geogrid reinforced soil slope at section 4-4
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Figure 5.3 : Excavator used for excavation works




Figure 5.4 : Compactor used for compaction works


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Figure 5.5: Overall view of the excavated slope





Figure 5.6 : Close view of the excavated slope
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Figure 5.7 : Storage of rolled geogrid on site




Figure 5.8 : Installation of geogrid

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Figure 5.9 : Installation of sub soil drainage




Figure 5.10 : Close view of the installation of sub soil drainage
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Figure 5.11 : Close view of the completed slope

Figure 5.12 : Close view of the completed slope and toe drain
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Figure 5.13 : Close view of the completed perimeter drain



Figure 5.14 : Close view of the completed berm drain

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Figure 5.15 : Close view of the completed interceptor drain


Figure 5.16 : Close view of the completed rock toe
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Figure 5.17 : Overall view of the completed slope


Figure 5.18 : Another view of the completed slope