Sustainability Approaches in Ground Improvement


Emerald & ICEP logosGround Improvement Upcoming Themed Issue

Submit your abstract by 31st August 2024


Ground improvement is a dynamic, continually developing and expanding discipline within geotechnical practice. Sustainable approaches to ground improvement (together with building resilience to climate change), have become some of the key drivers of the current ground improvement research focus, with emphasis on environmentally friendly additives, use of recycled materials and materials with lower embodied energy.

Comprehensive site geotechnical characterisation can lead to reappraisal of ground engineering solutions on a project, including consideration of more sustainable ground improvement solutions as alternatives to less sustainable deep foundation solutions. Many ground improvement techniques contain no cement (or less cement), concrete or steel, so the carbon footprint is much less than that of comparable piling schemes, for example. The use of aggregates in ground improvement from recycled and secondary sources demonstrates the circular economy in action. It has been shown for example, that the embodied CO2 is halved when recycled aggregates instead of primary quarried aggregates are used in vibro stone columns. It is important, however that we are also able to utilise appropriate sustainability indicators and life cycle assessments to measure the beneficial effects (including environmental, social and economic) and permit comparisons.

List of topic areas

This call for papers welcomes paper submissions capturing research (and case studies) relating to all aspects of carbon footprint reduction through implementation of sustainable ground improvement, including reinforcement and grouting methodologies and techniques (technologies), covering the following topics:

  • Case studies and examples of sustainable ground improvement research and application, using recycled materials and environmentally friendly additives.
  • Examples of sustainability best practices and guidelines in ground improvement. There has, through the supply chain, been some excellent recent work in this area.
  • Innovative, environmentally friendly and energy efficient ground improvement techniques.
  • Use alternative materials from waste streams, nanomaterials or sustainable cementitious materials in sustainable ground improvement.
  • Developments in sustainability frameworks, indicators and assessment tools in ground improvement (examples of how they have been used to help monitor and compare the sustainability (benefits) of different ground improvement methods).  This includes carbon tools and impact of net zero.
  • Life cycle assessments - demonstration of how this has been used to compare the environmental performance (together with social and economic aspects) of different ground improvement methods.
  • Climate-adaptive ground improvement (smart materials and additives, including in earthworks support for transport infrastructure).
  • Smart use of Geo-data (including senor technology, real-time monitoring and remote applications) and data management applied to Ground Improvement outcomes.

Submissions Information

Submit your abstract by 31st August 2024

Author guidelines must be strictly followed

If you are invited to submit your full paper, please register with the ICE review system and then navigate to the journal that you wish to submit to. Choose article type "Themed issue" and then the specific name from the drop-down menu on screen.

Key Deadlines

Closing date for abstract submissions: 31 August 2024
Closing date for manuscript submissions: 30 January 2025