November/December 2022 - 113

Sustainability and Geotechnics
It is critical in the world today that our
engineering solutions are developed
with consideration for economic, social
and environmental impacts. As a
society, we can no longer afford to
continue quickly depleting our finite
resources. As an industry, we cannot
sustain if we continue implementing
design and construction practices that
negatively affect our ability to continue
growing our industry for future
generations.
Having become a buzzword of sorts
in recent years, sustainability is often
associated with the environmental
impact of a product or process. While
environmental considerations are
important, this can be a problematic
view since it may give the impression
that economic or social considerations
are secondary. A truly sustainable
solution would meet the demands of all
three, commonly referred together as
the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). The TBL
framework is important because it
states clearly what we already know to
be true: a solution that is great for the
environment but is not economically
viable is not a solution. Similarly, a
solution that is economically viable but
causes irreparable harm to the local
community and or environment is also
not a solution.
Sustainable Development Goals
Another convenient framework useful
to approach sustainable design is the
Uni ted Nat ions' 17 Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs). The goals
were developed as a 2030 target for
sustainable growth and include targets,
indicators and annual reports on
progress for each of the goal s
(
the SDGs is that they highlight the
interdependency of each element in
the TBL, with many goals requiring
economic and social growth while
maintaining a healthy environment.
Not all 17 SDGs are directly or
indirectly related to geotechnical
engineering. For example, Goal 16 -
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
could be difficult to implement in
foundation design at any step in the
process. However, there are some SDGs
that are a natural fit for our industry.
We've identified three particular goals
and their associated tasks that are
directly related to geotechnical
engineering, along with a description of
potential actionable items for the
geotechnical and foundation industries.
Consideration of these goals could help
us develop standards, products and
processes that better serve our industry
and communities, and efforts can begin
in planning stages and scale down to
even on-site procedures.
Quantifying Sustainability
While taking steps towards sustainability
is important, it is equally
important to have a method for
quantifying the efficacy of those efforts.
Existing methods have been developed
and are often referred to as green rating
G U E S T
EDI TORIAL
MELISSA BEAUREGARD,
PH.D., P.E., EXPONENT, AND
KARSTEN BECKHAUS, PH.D.,
BAUER
systems. One such system that is widely
known and largely applicable to
architectural design elements is the
LEED system, though a more recent
system called Envision was developed
to cover a more varied range of projects.
One benefit of the Envision system is
that, even if no specific rating is
achieved, the overall program can be
used as a project management tool to
incorporate sustainable thinking in
each step of project development and
execution. Additionally, points can be
earned in the Envision systems for
activities related to community involvePromote
sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic
growth, full and productive employment and decent work
for all
* Job creation
* Grow skilled labor force
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and
sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
* New building materials
* Design and build for changing climate conditions
https://sdgs.un.org/goals). A feature of
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
* Implement carbon calculator tools
* Reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions with
innovative design and construction practices
Selected Sustainable Development Goals and how they may relate to the geotechnical and foundation industries
DEEP FOUNDATIONS * NOV/DEC 2022 * 113

November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2022

TOC
November/December 2022 - Intro
November/December 2022 - 1
November/December 2022 - 2
November/December 2022 - TOC
November/December 2022 - 4
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