Collaborative research programme
This project arose from a personal initiative coordinated through IREX’s Soil Specialist Cluster, in conjunction with public works contractors and engineering companies within France, for the purpose of accompanying the development of a new ground improvement technique. This technique first appeared in France during the 1990’s and consists of associating a network of vertical rigid inclusions with a granular layer in order to compose the foundation platform for civil engineering works (rafts, reservoirs, ground slabs, embankments) and construction works (ground slabs). Though previous uses were already familiar and this technique beneath embankments had already been practiced in other European countries, the increasing application of such procedures for civil engineering structures and buildings had become something of a French national specificity, owing to the dynamic role of actors within the sector (construction companies and consulting engineers). Yet in the absence of regulatory references, a set of dedicated and adapted guidelines needed to be developed and implemented.
The ASIRI National Project has focused on designing, conducting and interpreting a series of physical experiments and numerical models as a fundamental step to understanding the mechanisms acting in this innovative foundation system. The applied research program presented herein has been facilitated by project participants’ broad range of competences, stemming from both academia and the professional world; the program has also greatly benefited from the physical and human resources each partner organization made available.