INTERVIEW: Lighter, Stronger, More Sustainable Construction Mats

Weak soils are common problems for access to oil and gas sites, wind warms, and staging areas for construction sites. In this interview with Geosynthetica’s Elizabeth Peggs, Presto Geosystems’ Bill Handlos, The Boldt Company’s Nick Mueller, and University of Kansas Professor Jie Han discuss the sustainability, durability, and performance of the new GEOTERRA® GTO construction mats.

Presto’s GEOTERRA® and GEOTERRA® GTO series are extremely lightweight—only about 10% the weight of other polymats; yet, they provide as much strength or more than the heavier mats. This advance in polymeric materials has been brought about largely in response to client needs. For example, the need to deliver materials by helicopter.

In their discussion, Handlos and Mueller reference projects for remote oil and gas sites in South America  to oil sands development to common construction soft soils near a Northern Midwestern (US) watershed.

The materials have even been used to construct a 17 km road for oil and gas development traffic.

SUSTAINABILITY & STRENGTH OF CONSTRUCTION MATS

Geoterra Construction Mats, Presto GeosystemsIn addition to adding a hands-on construction site perspective for his project management work with Boldt, Mueller’s comments speak well to sustainability. He is also the president of the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance.

Professor Han, who has been a very active contributor to geosynthetics research over the past decade, addresses cyclic loading tests and other research that is emerging in support of this new polymat alternative.

Interesting notes to listen for in the interview:

  • The polymeric bolt and color-coding of bolts for the mats that optimize safety for access road installation
  • How the mats have been designed to minimize risk to installation personnel (e.g., tools and bending needed to install and secure mats)
  • Why common construction site traffic can be more challenging than large vehicles on oil and gas sites
  • The speed with which these systems can be implemented

Learn more about GEOTERRA® in the interview and visit www.prestogeo.com.

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