Slope Stabilisation and Strategies to Avoid Failure

28 September 2020

The number of property owners who are opting for sloping site construction is increasing. Aside from the wonderful natural views that houses and buildings can obtain, the low purchase cost of sloping sites certainly attracts potential property owners to buy them. And as soon as the buildings are finished, other few economical and personal advantages are waiting for families and property owners.

However, one thing that must be considered first before constructing anything on the site is its overall condition. The condition of the whole slope, particularly its stabilisation, hugely matters not just for the owner of the site but also for the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Importance of Slope Stabilisation

Before doing anything on a sloping site, the stabilisation of the whole place must be prioritised first. Slope stabilisation is conducted by solidifying and stabilising the slopes of a given site. These actions are intended to protect the slopes from the occurrence of soil erosion and its accompanying effects. 

Slope stabilisation is important since it helps maintain the stability of the soil and the underlying layers of the ground. This specific stabilisation process can also increase the strength of the slope and help withstand any element that can effectively weaken the whole underground structure. Aside from soil erosion, any needed protection of the site from raindrop impact, quick run off the road, accumulation of elements, and others are all provided by an effective slope stabilisation.

Strategies to Avoid Slope Failure

With an effective slope stabilisation, slope failure is mitigated significantly. After all, slope failure will only occur if the slope collapses due to the weakened underground layer. To help minimise slope failure, here are some key slope stabilisation strategies that can be utilised.

  • Drainage Installation: When excessive water infiltrates the underground layers of a slope, it can easily cause slope failure. But with a drainage system, the waterflow underground can be channelled away from the slope, preventing it from weakening the slope layers or causing erosion. Some great examples of drainage installation include weep holes in retaining walls and French drains.
  • Retaining Walls: Speaking of retaining walls, this specific strategy can likewise help keep the slope firm and stable. Initially, retaining walls are intended to extend the usable area of a property. However, these walls can also hold a substantial amount of soil in any given property. With these walls, the soil underground can definitely stay in place all the time.
  • Friction Piles: Friction piles are piles that are installed and driven into the ground. They are placed towards the ground layer that can bear stress so that they can utilise the frictional resistance force between the pile surface and the soil nearby. Lagging or panels are installed between piles so that retaining walls can be constructed for slope stabilisation purposes.
  • Terracing or Benching: Dividing a huge slope area into several smaller steep slopes can be more manageable than retaining its original form factor. This division, which is also known as the process of terracing or benching, can effectively make the slope more stable, most especially if it is partnered with other slope stabilisation strategies like retaining walls and friction piles.

Slope stabilisation is truly important for construction projects that deal with sloping sites. Without implementing key strategies in slope stabilisation, the occurrence of slope failure will certainly affect and disturb properties in a negative way. 

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