As a developer, you know the importance of choosing the best site locations for your projects. Where possible, you want to minimize costs by working in areas that don’t need extensive preparation and ground stabilization.
Of course, it’s about more than just the costs. It’s about structural integrity and ensuring the safety of those who live and do business nearby or on the project site.
Sometimes, however, you have no other choice but to complete your project on soft soil or soft subgrades. When that’s the case, geotechnologies and cellular confinement systems can help stabilize the base layer, improve the bearing capacity, and ensure that your project stands the test of time.
Geocells and geogrids are two of the most common solutions for ground stabilization. But which is the better, more cost effective solution?
What are Geocells?
Geocells are expandable, three-dimensional honeycomb confinement systems composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Once expanded and connected, you can fill the flexible cellular structure with a variety of different infill materials, such as aggregate, gravel, and soil. Wth holes in the cell walls, geocells provide excellent natural drainage.
Developers use geocells in a variety of complex projects, including for things like slope stabilization, erosion control, load bearing, and road support.
What are Geogrids?
While geocells are three-dimensional, geogrids are two-dimensional support structures that provide increased flexibility but significantly less support. Any material that is not located within the plane of the geogrid is still susceptible to moving and shifting. Many developers will utilize multiple layers of geogrids at different levels of a slope or embankment.
A common use for geogrids is as the last level of stabilization on an embankment or slope.
How Do Geocells and Geogrids Compare?
Geocells and geogrids both have their place in commercial projects and have their own pros and cons. For instance, geocells are stronger and make more sense for a forest road or slope stabilization measure, whereas geogrids are more flexible and work well in concert with other stabilization methods.
In terms of a direct cost comparison, you can typically purchase geogrids at a lower cost point than geocells. When considering both the upfront investment costs, ancillary costs, and the ongoing maintenance and repairs, geocells are less expensive in the long run. With geogrids, you will likely need to install multiple layers, utilize higher quality infill material, and make more frequent repairs.
Any stabilization equipment will be difficult to install in a soft subgrade. In particular, geogrids are difficult to install properly because making them as tight as recommended is not easy. Geocells on the other hand, can be installed easily with appropriate infill materials and trucks that can compact the soil.
Geocells and geogrids differ on the types and amount of infill materials that can be used. Since they are two-dimensional and don’t provide as much lateral support, geogrids require stable, high-quality infill materials. With high strength, three-dimensional support, and natural drainage, geocells function well with a variety of different infill materials, including gravel, local aggregate, or soil.
Geocells and geogrids also differ in the amount of strength and support that they provide. While geogrids work well where just a thin support layer can stabilize the soil or project, geogrids provide more stabilization and are a better solution for more complex or difficult areas.
Geocells for Complex Projects
At BaseCore, we understand the complexities and nuances of slope stabilization, erosion control, road development, and other cost- and labor-intensive commercial projects. When you have to work with steep slopes, soft subgrades, and other complicated factors, geocells can help reduce costs and improve the stability of your project.
Want to learn more about our cost-effective, long-lasting, and flexible geocell solutions? Give us a call at (888)-511-1553 or fill out our online contact form.