The Geosynthetic Institute (GSI)will sponsor a webinar, GeosyntheticReinforced MSE Walls; Overview, Failures and Items for Improvement on Dec. 11, from11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) member companies and their employees receive discountedrates on all GSI webinar and short course registrations.

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE)walls represent a grade separation structure which functions at a slope betweenunreinforced soil to classical (i.e., vertical) concrete walls. The soil massitself is layered with geogrids or geotextiles such that a coherent stable massis formed. The facing is usually either vegetated or masonry block, including manyaesthetic variations. MSE walls have reached to 25 meters in height, supported railroadsand heavy surcharge loads, buildings of moderate bearing capacity and can readilyfunction adjacent to water courses and seismic conditions.

Furthermore, they are shown by arecent survey to be the least costly of any other type of retaining wall by 20to 50%.

Design of such MSE walls is wellwithin the state-of-the-practice and is usually addressed using a computer code.The six essential elements of design being the following; each of which are numericallyaddressed.

Internal Stability

External Stability

Unfortunately, there have been failures consisting of eitherexcessive deformation or actual collapses. The presenter has been collecting suchfailures since 2000, and the worldwide database includes more than 300. They willbe analyzed to learn where ongoing concerns exist. In this regard, five areas appearto be fundamental insofar as remedies are concerned. They will be described accordingly.

Summarizing comments and conclusionswill be offered accordingly.

Participants will learn aboutthis new class of retaining walls (and steep slopes), cost comparison to other walltypes, elements of design and where problems have existed in the past. Thesepast problems have been classified into groups, which give clear insight intothe mechanisms involved. Five aspects of design and/or construction will beoffered which, if followed, would minimize such failures from occurring in thefuture.

The webinar is intended for ownersof sites needing grade separation in both the public and private sectors; federal,state, and regional geotechnical, transportation and environmental engineers; engineersfrom municipal districts and townships; private and municipal land developers, architecturaland landscape designers; general civil consulting engineers; hardscapedesigners; testing laboratories servicing these organizations; manufacturers andrepresentatives of geosynthetic and masonry block materials; ground modificationcontractors; academic and research groups; and others desiring technically relatedinformation on this important aspect of our constructed infrastructure.

The webinars instructor, Dr. RobertM. Koerner, is professor emeritus of civil engineering at Drexel University,and founder and director emeritus of the Geosynthetic Institute.

Webinars cost $200.00 for GSI andGMA members, and $250.00 for nonmembers. Successful completion of amultiple-choice test after the webinar carries 1.5 professional development hours(PDH).

For more information or to register, visit

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GSI to host webinar on geosynthetic reinforced MSE walls - Geosynthetics magazine

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Category: Retaining Wall