Made of masonry alone, embellished with different types and colours of plants and flowers, and of varying heights, embankments are often part of public buildings in parks and squares, but also a distinctive feature of private gardens. In the urban construction context, embankments can be borders for roadside verges, steps and flowerbeds, reaching a relatively low height, almost always less than 1 metre.
The provide a very attractive and organised visual effect and can be customised with the colours and types of plants you prefer. However, in order to achieve adequate stability for such intervention work, regulations require certain specifications to bear in mind for their construction.
A short and simple recap: let’s start by understanding what they are and how they are built.
What are embankments?
Embankments are accumulations of earth that form more or less evident differences in the level of the ground and can be natural or artificial. Natural embankments are caused and possibly accentuated by landslides, whereas artificial ones are man-made and consist of an earth fill supported by a wall, often in order to highlight the difference in level.
The risk of landslides
As mounds of earth, especially if they are of a certain height, embankments can be severely tested by atmospheric events, resulting in erosion and runoff due to rainwater.
Various characteristic elements can therefore be recognised:
- drainage and runoff systems in the underlying area where all rainwater accumulates;
- support and reinforcement of slopes, the part most susceptible to erosion;
- substrates and erosion control systems to allow plants to grow in the best conditions by sheltering the topsoil from the effects of the wind, sun and rain until the plants have become strong and well-rooted.
Block retaining walls and reinforcement grids
In order to prevent soil erosion or irrigation, embankments are reinforced with retaining walls in a combination of concrete blocks and geogrids, which meet geotechnical, building and architectural requirements.
TeMa Geo Solutions has the right products to create this type of construction.
For soil reinforcement we suggest X-Grid, reinforcement geogrids, which are knitted uniaxial geogrids made of high tenacity polyester yarns covered with a protective PVC layer.
For retaining walls, the range includes T-Block, a single concrete block for building reinforced walls.
The special feature of this product is the male/female joint, shaped directly on the block. This ensures maximum connection between the blocks, thus avoiding the use of mechanical fasteners, glue or mortar and making the wall stronger and more resistant to damage.
The photo conjures up a lofty tale: “Autumn arrives and with it, the first rains, days draw in, the temperature starts to drop and, above all… it’s harvest time!”
We’re in the eastern corner of the Veneto region, the Prosecco hills have outdone themselves once again this year and a steady stream of grape-laden trailers continue to roll past on their way to the wineries. But this year’s harvest has had to contend with rather uncertain weather patterns: frosts in late spring, persistent rain interspersed with dry spells, with violent storms and hail over summer.
These conditions certainly don’t help the soil, putting it at risk of slips, subsidence and erosion. But if we apply TeMa Geo Solutions’ modern technologies and materials designed for this very purpose, we can protect the land from damage and, what’s more, do it in a sustainable way.
Not far from here, just a few kilometres from our headquarters, the Prosecco hills fall largely within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning any measures must be strictly reconstructive, designed to protect the status quo and absolutely non-invasive: “gentle” on the environment.
TeMa Geo Solutions has come up with high-performance solutions to control the natural erosion of the soil, reinforce slopes, and drain water with:
- biodegradable fibre matting made from 100% natural jute such as Ecovernet® J500 XL and Ecovermat P Grass, which provide protection to stop soil being blown or washed away by the elements, and encourage vegetation;
- the K-Mat F erosion control synthetic geomat;
- reinforcement geogrids such as X-Grid PET PVC, which can withstand considerable stress levels;
- the Speedrain drainage geocomposite, which drains away water from the surrounding soil, stabilizing any surface slips.
TeMa Geo Solutions has presented two important publications summarising the products and technologies used in the field of major environmental works, which have enabled the Vittorio Veneto-based company to convince designers on all continents.
In addition to novelties, in the new catalogue we present solutions for intervention works in the environmental field that respect a new awareness towards protecting our natural heritage, which includes much hilly terrain and cultivated slopes. In recent years, these have been increasingly affected by climate changes that, in turn, have intensified some weather conditions.
We have included TeMa products for the major environmental works sector in the new Geosynthetic Products catalogue by TeMa Geo Solutions. In 48 pages, we present 29 products separated according to categories: drainage geocomposites, studded membranes, geonets, geogrids, geomats, biomats and geocomposites. They are all the result of research into new materials aimed at solving critical issues related to drainage, erosion control, filtration, separation, reinforcement, waterproofing and protection using dozens of applications (geotechnical and environmental) that the soil requires in certain hydrogeological and morphological situations.
The same effective solutions with low environmental impact are offered in the Vineyards catalogue, specifically dedicated to safeguarding the vineyard heritage. It is, indeed, a centuries-old culture that has been a typical part of our lives for generations. We have only to consider the steps built by hand by farmers in the past. In the catalogue, we present various sustainable solutions, specifically for setting up vineyards and for their maintenance. The technological content of TeMa solutions goes hand-in-hand with its spirit of eco-compatibility, which has led to considerable savings, over the years, in terms of raw materials and CO₂ emissions into the air. TeMa has eliminated the use of millions of cubic metres of cement and inert materials with its “reinforced earth” technique, thus avoiding spreading thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide and particulates that heavy vehicles would emit into the atmosphere in order to transport them.
The environmental choice of TeMa Geo
All this is accompanied by researching equally eco-compatible products that can be used in a natural context without spoiling it or changing its appearance. These are often 100% natural solutions which, despite being degradable over time, achieve their objective of settling the soil in a more than natural way.
Relying on TeMa Geo means making an environmental choice: you will discover that we have built four post-consumer plastic recycling plants to obtain, according to our own specifications, quality recycled raw materials to be used in specific percentages in our products.
An environmental reappraisal
Over the centuries the relationship between man and the environment has undergone considerable tensions. Rural development and the impetus in building have undoubtedly disrupted certain landscapes, reducing natural spaces to accommodate new urban and agricultural areas. This type of intervention work has led to a crisis in the ecosystem, imposing re-evaluation of the fragile balance between the economy and the environment.
This is the socio-cultural background that has led to global re-assessment aimed at defining programmes and new territorial management formulas. It has been the driving force behind TeMa Geo Solutions, the TeMa business unit dedicated to environmental intervention works. These are aimed at protecting land and offering the opportunity to operate using eco-compatible solutions and products that integrate into the environment without compromising its appearance or safety.
Sustainable development according to TeMa
Nestled at the foot of the hills declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the TeMa headquarters could not help but consistently correspond to this desire for sustainability, widespread in this area for some years now. But how has it contributed? By using raw materials responsibly, with 100% natural solutions and intervention procedures with low environmental impact.
As a concrete example, TeMa addresses the problem of surface erosion of the soil by meteoric rain with Ecovernet® in natural fibres such as jute or Ecovermat® in natural fibres such as straw and coconut – or in biodegradable cellulose fibre. Installing products in this range allows intervention works to be carried out immediately, even in situations with difficult access for on-site vehicles. For such types of intervention works, total integration with the soil is achieved, guaranteeing lasting results over time.
Green intervention works
An interesting new development introduced by our technicians is the use of lightweight materials that feature reduced encumbrance, which not only affects the cost of the work but also speeds up the time required on-site. When building drainage systems, for example, TeMa does not rely on that range of inert materials from quarries that need to be extracted and transported. The company uses drainage geocomposites instead, such as Q-Drain, thus avoiding any waste of energy and CO₂ emissions into the air, thus ensuring quick installation.
These are just a few examples to show the potential that the field of environmental engineering has to offer:
- Reduction in costs while maintaining the effectiveness of intervention works
- Sustainability of the actions taken
- Protection and safeguarding of the soil
- Promotion of natural raw materials
To fully understand our philosophy, browse through the new catalogue dedicated to the protection of vineyards, which are the natural and cultural heritage of our lands and an identifying feature of our history. Inside it, you will find products and solutions for responsible and eco-compatible actions.
Our passion for work does not stop, it simply continues at our company, in a little more limited way. You certainly cannot see us running up and down building sites or going in and out of our research labs, but we can assure you that we are still working on our production of geosynthetic products with the same commitment and perseverance in order to formulate new projects and develop ideas that we will see materialised soon, once everything has ended.
TeMa and Geosynthetic Products
TeMa Geo is the TeMa division created almost thirty years ago with the aim of exploring and expanding the world of geosynthetics, which it still does today. By “geosynthetic products” we generally mean all categories of synthetic coverings that are not only used in contact with earth or other building materials but are also appreciated for their use in various building fields. In the building industry, their main advantage is that they are user-friendly in technical terms, which is why engineers and planners prefer them to other technical solutions.
The Advantages of Geosynthetics
The advantages of geosynthetic options not only lies in the fact that they are easy to use but also in their cost-effectiveness: certainly less expensive, they provide excellent performance that remains unchanged over time. Furthermore, their versatile use makes them the ideal solution to various on-site problems.
Geosynthetic Products “In the Field”: the Serravalle Project
In more practical terms, today we want to tell you about the intervention works we carried out in the Piedmont region in 2016. It involved extension works for Serravalle Retail Park. In preparation for the works, we had to make the slope in front of the new complex safe. In order to proceed, we had to prepare several reinforced soil structures, separating them into banks, and solve the problems of surface drainage for the management of water, whose catchment area was located above the area.
For works of such magnitude, we used geogrids from the XGrid PET-PVC range as a structural element. In addition, to avoid any seepage in the future, drainage elements were installed close to the reinforced structures of the horizontal sections of each berm. This is just one of our products and one of the many fields of application explored by TeMa.
To discover all our membranes, visit our section dedicated to products.
We know that our bike has become a mirage. But we can promise ourselves to use it more when this period of seclusion is over. Meanwhile, why don’t we take advantage of the time available to discover interesting things all around us? For example, cycle paths. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is the correct definition of a cycle/pedestrian path?
It’s where you can ride your bike, of course. But, can pedestrians walk on it too? What is the direction of movement? Then there are increasingly more complex questions, such as: has it been built as a separate cycle path or as a reserved lane? Is it a cycle/pedestrian path or a vehicular/cycle path? In short, there are many features that a cycle/pedestrian path must have in order to be defined as such. Let’s take a look at them together.
The cycle/pedestrian path was invented to allow pedestrians and bikes to get about. Such paths require cyclists to respect pedestrians and get off their bike whenever necessary to avoid getting in the way. Consequently, they are not paths for the exclusive use of cyclists.
Creating these kinds of paths encourages people to get about without using a car, thanks to these dedicated spaces, where they can feel safe from urban traffic.
How do you build a cycle/pedestrian path?
In 2018 TeMa Geo Solutions built a cycle/pedestrian path in Cozzuolo di Vittorio Veneto (TV). One of the main aims of the project was to improve road safety in an area that is a gateway to the city and where a city park is situated, used by families and children.
First of all, we enlarged the road and the nearby roundabout in order to create the necessary space for inserting the path. The enlargement was facilitated by the construction of a reinforced earth escarpment, for which reinforced geogrids were used. Installed in the ground, they create friction and enable the system to withstand significant levels of stress. The intervention work, designed on the basis of a single berm positioned at about 2 metres above ground level, allowed pedestrian and cycle traffic in an area that had been dangerous from the outset.
Looking on the bright side, when you get back onto your saddle, you’ll be more aware of what’s under your wheels. Enter the TeMa world, visit our website.
Geo Solutions is the TeMa division that has been developing technologies and products for protection, maintenance and drainage in the field of major environmental works for over twenty years.
A SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE TERRITORY
More specifically, due to the location of its first production unit – situated near the hills that are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – TeMa has always kept an eye on agricultural lands and especially wine-producing landscapes, which are now gaining increasing attention because of their economic importance and their environmental value.
This new focus on the landscape, including the agricultural one, has never been as relevant as now. We have officially entered the green year and therefore, today, we want to show you some systems for preserving your wine crops.
THE MAIN RISKS: EROSION AND DRAINAGE
The main risks that undermine the stability of the soil include: the natural erosion of the topsoil with the resulting need to reinforce it and the problem of water drainage.
EROSION: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS
Soil erosion is caused by rainwater runoff, which, by removing the top layer of the soil, can cause significant erosion in the long term.
Various applications are available that provide protection against soil erosion. TeMa proposes natural and synthetic solutions, depending on the circumstances: a 100% natural jute fibre bionet can be used, or a three-dimensional PP geomat, such as KMat. A system of geosynthetic reinforcements (woven geotextiles or geogrids), once embedded in the subsoil, recreates a tensional layer that absorbs any stress of greater intensity than the soil.
DRAINAGE: CONSEQUENCES AND SOLUTIONS
Finally, to solve the fundamental cause of soil instability, namely drainage, TeMa has developed drainage trenches capable of removing water that is naturally absorbed by the ground. These are trench excavations, usually rectangular in section, filled with natural inert material, such as gravel or broken stones from quarries, with a high degree of permeability. Removal takes place either through the trench filling material or through the drainage pipe located at the base of the trench. To avoid another possible problem, i.e. clogging of the pipe, it is entirely covered with layers of non-woven fabric.
WHY CHOOSE TeMa?
Its attention to details, to small things, sets one company apart from all others. This is why TeMa stands out in its sector, thanks to its drive towards innovation and its respect for the environment, whose landscapes are unchanged after intervention works by TeMa.
Find out more, explore the TeMa website.
In 2018, we were called to a private house in Pordenone. As a result of sudden and severe meteorological events, the escarpment behind a reinforced concrete retaining wall collapsed. We were quick to intervene to avoid any kind of damage, since the house was under construction and the environmental impact had to be almost minimal.
We therefore decided to use our PET-PVC 55 XGrid, the uniaxial woven PET geogrid that provides new stability for soil. It is a reinforcement geogrid made of polyester synthetic yarns, obtained by weaving, which is highly resistant and coated with a protective layer (PVC). Uniaxial PET-PVC XGrids are used to implement soil reinforcement support works, whereas biaxial XGrids are used for soil reinforcement and stabilisation.
Uniaxial PET-PVC XGrid
Biaxial PET-PVC XGrid
TeMa Geo Solution has the mission of intervening on the environment using geosynthetic products and the lowest possible impact. This goal is pursued by researching and inventing new products for environmental engineering, actively involving planners and companies while assisting customers in the pre-sale phase and during and after installation.
Thanks to a modern integrated production system with branches in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Romania and the USA and a widespread sales network in more than 60 countries, TeMa offers tailor-made solutions for all projects involving structural, protection, maintenance and safety elements in the residential and civil building sectors and in the field of major environmental works. Furthermore, TeMa is not only involved in the industrial building field but also in the private building one.
This is just one of many stories we could tell you about our company, which focuses on technological innovation, ongoing research and territorial responsibility.
In all three of its divisions, TeMa has an in-company technical department that supports and assists its customers in the various phases of implementing a project. We take care of all the details, from choosing the solution to using the method of installation.
At TeMa, our technicians use in-depth analysis and cutting-edge software to propose effective, complete and reliable solutions for any type of intervention in the field of geosynthetic products. The dimensional evaluation, structural checks and specifications of the products to be used are of considerable support for the planner or the contractor. But that’s not all. The same is also true for the most experienced operators in the sector who feel the need to expand their knowledge, gaining experience in a constantly developing field. And the outcome? Being able to propose versatile solutions in step with technologies.
The companies in the IWIS Group, including TeMa, have implemented their production plants using innovative technologies, investing in a system that ensures that soil, air and water are protected. We have three photovoltaic plants, 200 kWp, 150 kWp and 100 kWp, which allow us to use energy obtained from renewable sources. The holding company also uses recycled materials for some of its production processes, relying on 4 specific plants for recycling plastics.
TeMa Geo has the support of a research laboratory, among other things, since the company firmly believes that only constant commitment to researching and developing new solutions is the key to success and constant improvement. Collaboration between the technical office and the testing and quality laboratory, especially in the geosynthetics sector, is fundamental: it gives the company’s customers state-of-the-art solutions with researched and tested products while supporting planners and contractors with the correct installation of the proposed solutions. Tests of durability, compressive strength and drainage capacity in the most critical situations are just some of the tests that TeMa laboratories carry out daily to ensure that its products meet the strict pre-established quality standards. The fact that these products are natural and/or recycled guarantees that they are not harmful to the environment, confirming TeMa’s commitment to environmental protection.
It is precisely this continuous pursuit of excellence that has allowed TeMa to obtain UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 certification, which acknowledges a quality system with the highest levels of performance. Moreover, in compliance with the CPD (Construction Product Directive) 89/106/EEC, the product ranges proposed by TeMa have followed the procedure to obtain the CE mark.
Find out more about TeMa Geo Solutions products.
The ROAD EXPO is one of the most important road shows in Russia. TeMa, is present at the event and presents its range of products dedicated to road applications.