Autumn 2016

That the global market is showing increasing interest in the application of geosynthetics is partly because of the economic benefits and positive environmental effects. The application of geosynthetics often results in savings in building materials and transport costs. 

Geosynthetics have a relatively small CO2 footprint and are therefore positioned as sustainable and environmentally responsible systems. This has induced Mark Sikkema, engineering business manager Pacific Northwest at TenCate Geosynthetics USA, to embrace the principle ‘Doing more with less’. The theme idea generally applies to the roadway products, in particular the TenCate Mirafi® RSi series, where you can perform reductions in the thickness of a roadway.

 geosynthetics tencate mirafi rsi
Application of TenCate Mirafi® in roadway construction

Through presentations in the US, Canada and Mexico, the engineering business managers of TenCate Geosynthetics USA work on the sales promotion of engineered products for technical specifications. Examples include TenCate Mirafi® RSi, TenCate Mirafi® H2Ri, TenCate Miramesh®, swimming pool coverings and TenCate Geotube®. Their audience is composed largely of civil engineers. The number of presentations varies, although most are concentrated in the winter months ‘as engineering firms are often busy during the construction season’. 

doing more with less group
The engineering business managers of TenCate Geosynthetics USA. From left to right in the first row: Nathalia Castro, Santino Piccoli and Brock Nesbit;
2nd row: Juan Pablo Broissin, John Folts, Bruce Lacina (Senior Technical Engineer) and Brian Baillie;  3rd row: Rene Laprade, Patti Chen, Brett Odgers (Group Manager), Mark Sikkema and Kate Vitale 

Mark Sikkema encourages those present to be open to more sustainable innovative materials, rather than automatically opting for conventional methodologies. Doing things the way we always do them isn’t always the best solution and, as he takes the leap into innovative geosynthetics, he mentions that a well-known engineer stated that ‘the longest journey begins with a single step’. 

doing more with less mark sikkema
After demonstrating some designs using MiraSpec software, Mark Sikkema (picture) shows how to achieve or even exceed current design parameters with a thinner section of roadway: ‘we need to be doing more with less. Using high-performance geosynthetics, we can either reduce a section, enhance its life, or better yet … do both!’ 

The quotations ‘the longest journey begins with a single step’ and ‘doing more with less’ come from Bill Nye. Bill Nye is predominantly known as the presenter of Bill Nye the Science Guy, a science programme for children, and for his many subsequent appearances as a science educator. The quotations refer to the need to be more efficient in everything we do. As the population grows and resources become evidently finite, we must always be looking for more efficient technologies.

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)