In my capacity as Soils and Agricultural Consultant to the DJV supporting the HS2 Enabling Works North Contract, I have been asked to offer my professional comments and observations on the Geobind soil enhancement process, particularly in respect of the quality of the reinstated agricultural soils after the ‘reversal’ of the Geobind process.
As part of this assessment, I visited a site in October 2019 to examine a reinstated temporary works compound and access road at the Themlow Viaduct near Holmes Chapel. These had been constructed by Geobind some two years earlier to support works undertaken for Network Rail on the Themlow Viaduct. I attended site with representatives of Geobind, Laing Murphy O’Rourke JV and the landowner.
The siting of the temporary compound and access road was no longer discernible on the ground, and there was no difference in the quality of the grass sward between the land that had been subject to the temporary works and neighbouring undisturbed land in the same field. Similarly, there was no discernible distinction between the arable land that has been subject to the access road and neighbouring land. There were no signs of compaction or impeded drainage on the land.
I dug soil pits to examine the depths, textures and structures of the topsoil and subsoil within the former compound area. The restored soil profiles comprised 300mm of friable sandy loam topsoil which was not compacted and contained many roots which penetrated into the subsoil. The subsoil comprised a loamy sand to a depth of 600mm and showed no signs of compaction. Importantly, there was no compaction at the interface of the topsoil and upper subsoil, which is a common deficiency of reinstated agricultural land. The upper subsoil lay over a lower subsoil of sand from a depth of 600mm.
From my inspection, I concluded that the impact of the installation and subsequent reversal of the Geobind temporary works system had no detrimental effects on the topsoil and subsoil and their inherent structure and density, causing me no concerns for the use of such a process on the HS2 Enabling Works Contract North.
It was fascinating to finally see your product “in the flesh”.
As discussed, we are very interested in seeing see how the road performs between now and Christmas as we are likely to experience all four of the British weather seasons in this period.
If the Moulsford trial is as successful as you anticipate (and from what I saw, I have no reason to expect otherwise), the gains to Network Rail of a material that costs considerably less to install than a conventional haul road, and does not need to be carted away to tip at the conclusion of the works, and is ecologically friendly and fast.
I can see that you are likely to be very busy on Network Rail schemes after Moulsford.
Following your request we can confirm that we are generally impressed with the design solution and the practical attributes that the GEOBIND® product can bring to projects that we have been dealing with.
Obviously the product is suited to certain sites but this is not exhaustive to just site where very poor ground is noted as the enhancement of medium to well performing ground can also benefit from the introduction of this ground improvement technique. As it will two-fold provide a sound working platform and stability for any deeper excavations and will also provide an inherent formation for construction storage, logistics and pavement and building slab construction.
More importantly in these situations it will also significantly reduce the amount of material movement to and from the site which will reduce the impact on surrounding road infrastructure, certainly where roads are known for traffic congestion this is a major advantage. We believe the applicable credits under a project with a High Score Breeam Scheme would also demonstrate this as an advantageous approach.
It was these above credentials that were noted during the Abbey Wood retail park Construction and was then chosen as an applicable solution for the Basildon Market Place improvement scheme and the more recent Fossetts Farm Retail Park.
I finally managed to get to site yesterday and I was delighted with the progress the main contractor has made. The main frame is progressing well and we are tracking well ahead on our programme.
I had read and heard a lot about the GEOBIND® stabilisation, but probably until yesterday didn’t fully appreciate the benefits. To have stabilised over 137,000m² of site with more than 70,000m³ of cut and fill in 12 weeks with the great CBR values is impressive. To see the prepared ground in the condition that it is now given its had Piling rigs, cranes, other plant and inclement weather to deal with is a real eye opener.
I also didn’t realise that any arisings now coming from drainage channels, etc., will not be classified as contaminated as you would expect with traditional stabilisation. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with yourselves shortly to discuss further opportunities together as the programme benefits, CBR values, site working conditions and efficiency generated all demonstrate considerable ‘value’ that can be attained going forward.
The Greater West Programme aims to promote and share best environmental practices and innovations across its supply chain to drive continuous improvement and demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development. The Geobind solution, introduced by Amey Inabensa, is an example of innovative construction method that can reduce material and waste, and reduce the carbon emissions associated with transport, to contribute to your sustainability objectives.
Regarding the installation of the GEOBIND® haul road and compound area at our site in Beeston; I would like to say the company installed a first class job, carried out professionally with no fuss and all completed in one day. The haul road and compound areas have been heavily trafficked since installation and are still in perfect working order. I would happily use the GEOBIND® system again on our other projects.
I would like to thank Geobind for all the work they did on the project at Crewkerne Embankment Slip earlier this year. The GEOBIND® product they used was excellent and was environmentally friendly to use. The work force they used and the works undertaken were achieved in an excellent manner and I would gladly recommend them again to any other company.
I would confirm that Pinnacle Consulting Engineers would have no hesitation in recommending the use of your GEOBIND® system.
Recently completed large retail sites in Wisbech and Bicester have performed as designed and the adoption of soil treatment for external works terrain modelling and the preparation of pavement formation delivered cost and programme benefits to each project.
Many thanks to you and your team, on the speedy and very well managed haul road you put in for us at Red Lane last week. We had a few challenges with the weather, but we were all very impressed how both Bam and your lads pulled together to work so well as a team.
It was a pleasure and we look forward to working with you guys again shortly.
Geobind were very professional and helpful, assisting where required throughout the construction and decommissioning of the access tracks and compounds. These works included stripping and bunding top soil. Stabilising the existing subsoil avoiding heavy wagons removing soil and importing stone used in a traditional construction method.
Using the Geobind option no disruption was caused to the day to day activities of the farm.
The access roads and compounds were decommissioned successfully in November 2016. Three years on I have had no problems with the reinstated areas and my pasture is as it was prior to the works.
Thank you for the effort of all concerned in the works you carried out here at London City.
The haul road as you know was successfully completed over the weekend on time with few very minor delays, well handled by the supervisors in place, the split shift worked well with good communication and planning allowing the works to completed within the twenty two hour possession. Not bad seeing as that was nearly 1600m2.
We chose to try the GEOBIND® system to form a temporary satellite compound on the Shinfield Eastern Relief Road project. This has now been in daily use for around four months with no apparent problems.
Geobind was on site early April on the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP) for Morgan Sindall to Soil Stabilise an area over 2600m² which included a haul road and a compound area. They completed their works on time which was six days less than what we allowed in our tender using traditional methods, enabling us start our project earlier. The product they left us has withstood all our site traffic movements including numerous tracked excavators tracking and turning on the surface. They are due back early August to reinstate the area to its original state.
From the service we have experienced so far, we would have no issues using Geobind on future projects and would strongly recommend that other projects within our business do consider them for their works.
Geobind has recently completed 2 soil stabilisation projects for the RG Group. These projects a new build store in Sudbury circa 200,000ft² site and an side extension store in Godalming. Both projects where completed to a high standard and in line with all agreements set out at pre-construction stage. The level of service given by the management team during design stage and through the construction period led to both projects being delivered ahead of time, allowing other trades to follow on.
The overall process and end product led to hugely significant programme and commercial benefits, we also considerably reduced the number of vehicle movements in and out of site, which was a huge plus due to the sites being located close to residential areas. The process further benefited by allowing follow on trades to be able to complete their works with greater efficiency. The overall end handover of both projects where to a high standard and the works Geobind undertook assisted in making this possible to our client.
I would not hesitate in working with Geobind in the future and would definitely engage them at the earliest opportunity so that their expert team are involved to assist in providing the best design solution possible.