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Engineering: You are here: Home - News

Putting Rubble to Use-Research for Haiti

A lot can be learned by skimming postings over at Haiti Rewired. Some engineers were talking over there about putting all of the rubble produced by the earthquake in Haiti to use, and they mentioned a few terms I had never heard. Looking up these terms turned up some interesting uses for rubble:

1. Riprap:  Riprap is the use of stones or rubble to prevent erosion against shorelines, roads, bridge abutments, or buildings. It can also be used to restore lake areas. Haiti has several very unusually large fresh and saltwater lakes that are home to species of fish and migratory birds (such as flamingos) that are endangered. Using rubble in these areas, and along the shores, could be useful for clearing the city and restoring some environments. Presumably it could also be used to prevent erosion on farmland or prevent mudslides. Although for the latter use, perhaps gabions should be used¡­

2. Gabions: Gabions are ¡­well¡­ riprap that is put in cages to make what look to me-at least in my ignorance-like mesh-wire "stone blocks"(see photo below). These large rubble and stone filled cages can then be used as blocks in construction. Indeed, a giant winery in California was built with gabions for the exterior walls. Not sure how that holds up during an earthquake, but you get the idea. This page shows additional uses for gabions along rivers and roadways.

Source Doug Hess's Blog



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