Exploiting suction to reduce embodied carbon in geotechnical structures

D. McIntyre, A. Tarantino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The targets set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 mean that the commitment to cut the CO2 emissions of the United Kingdom is now a matter of legal obligation. Similar legislation is being promulgated in several countries worldwide. The construction industry must therefore develop new techniques for design in order to survive in the 'low-carbon economy'. A study was undertaken to examine whether the inclusion of negative pore-water pressures (or 'soil suction') in the design of a flood embankment could reduce the embodied carbon in the structure. The study found that fully utilising the effects of soil suction in the design could yield potential savings of over 50% in materials. In terms of embodied carbon, this equates to removing 2.3 million car-kilometres from the road for each kilometre of embankment constructed using the new design concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnsaturated Soils
Subtitle of host publicationResearch & Applications
EditorsNasser Khalili, Adrian Russell, Arman Khoshghalb
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2014
Event6th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Jul 20144 Jul 2014


Conference6th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils
Abbreviated titleUNSAT 2014


  • Climate Change Act 2008
  • CO2 emissions
  • geotechnical engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploiting suction to reduce embodied carbon in geotechnical structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this