Unusual Applications of Geosynthetics
Geosynthetics and geocells, in particular, have already become quite common for engineers and construction industry workers. The well-known standard applications include reinforcement of building structures and strengthening of slopes.
However, geocells can also be used in everyday life. For instance, you can make an original fence for flower beds from the scraps of three-dimensional geocells, and a plastic anchor can serve as excellent support for tall plants since the material is not subject to decay and is resistant to a wide range of temperatures.
In this article, we’ll take a look at global trends and show you some unusual and inspiring geosynthetics applications in various projects around the world.
INTERIOR DESIGN: REVEALING THE HIDDEN BEAUTY
Paritzki Liani Architects developed a design project for an engineering company office in Tel Aviv. Since the company manufactures geosynthetics, which are used to stabilize soil, the architects decided to go in the opposite direction: to use geocells to destabilize the office space.
Geocells were used in the design of walls and ceilings: they are fixed at certain points in space in such a way that the material takes the form of a wave and creates the illusion of an ocean surface or clouds. An interesting solution was also that small mirrors were placed near the roofline. They reflect the cloud-like silhouettes of the geocells so that they appear to continue outside, merging with the clouds outside the window.
Another fascinating example of using geocells in public space design is restaurant design. The place is called Riva — Gourmet under the Sky and is located in the city of Pune, the second-largest city in the state of Maharashtra, India. DNC Architects designed the project.
The restaurant business is extremely competitive, and while cuisine and service are undoubtedly vital ingredients for success, interior design also has a huge impact on the customer experience. In this case, the owners of the restaurant sought to find a non-standard solution that would have a neat and clean look and would also complement the cuisine.
The geocells are fixed to the walls of the room, thus creating an illusion of depth and providing unusual lighting.
INNOVATIVE LANDSCAPE AND ECOLOGY
Geosynthetic materials are quite often used in landscape design; however, you can always find some unusual solutions here.
A great example is the Brinton Museum complex, located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, on a historic ranch near Big Horn, Wyoming, which presents the art of Western and American Indians of the 19th, 20th, 21st centuries. A new Forrest E. Mars building was recently built using a green roof construction. With the help of geocells, the grass was planted on the roof in such a way that the building perfectly fits into the landscape.
Another interesting site is the Bellevue Youth Theater in Washington, USA.
The new structure is integrated into the park with a green roof that works as a natural insulator. This allows significant energy savings while limiting the impact of stormwater runoff. The building is designed in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards.
Just recently, an unusual structure appeared in Mariupol, at the main entrance of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol: a glass pyramid resembling the Parisian Louvre, but with a green roof. This is how metallurgists are testing a model for the reclamation of slag dumps.
The construction has several layers: first, a waterproofing layer with drainage pipes, then a slag prism protected by an insulating layer. Three-dimensional geocells were installed on top with and filled with a fertile soil layer, which was sown with grass. There is a solar panel on the roof of the facility. Thus, in the future, the area of slag dumps can be used as a source of renewable energy and contribute to the improvement of the environment at the facility.