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BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena

Green sOil stAbiLisation (GOAL)

Alternative title: Grønn grunnstabilisering

Awarded: NOK 14.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2021 - 2025

Funding received from:


Subject Fields:

Partner countries:

Imagine a future in which soil will be stabilised by using industry by-products – instead of carbon-intensive cement and lime – and that emerging sensing technologies will inform you about the condition of the stabilised soil body throughout its entire lifetime. This vision is at the heart of GOAL. Our project will act as catalyst for this future scenario by adopting latest sensing and monitoring techniques, more sustainable materials and data-driven design solutions for ground improvement. GOAL will explore non-destructive sensing such as distributed fibre optics and shear-wave measurements to document the field performance of stabilised soil. These monitoring solutions will overcome shortcomings of existing monitoring, which is destructive and provides limited spatial and temporal information. We will generate new data that offers intriguing possibilities to reduce the conservativeness of current design solutions. GOAL will stimulate a data-driven future of soil stabilisation that minimizes use of materials, energy, emissions and labour. We will investigate sustainable materials as alternative to carbon-intensive binders. Industry by-products such as bioash, steel slag, waste paper sludge ash and biochar will be tested for soil stabilisation. In addition to studies on the mechanical properties of stabilised soil, we will quantify environmental and economic impacts of alternative materials for stabilising soil. GOAL will build on laboratory experiments and full-scale field trials to generate new knowledge and expertise across all groups of actors in the value chains around soil stabilisation. It will start in November 2021 and last until October 2025. The consortium is led by NGI and comprises of Bergene Holm, Celsa Armeringsstål, Keller Geoteknikk, Lindum, Norske Skog Skogn, NTNU and the international universities University of California Berkeley, University College Dublin and the Technical University of Denmark.

The demand for space for new infrastructure will require building on unstable soft soil, for which stabilisation is needed. The current practice of stabilising soil, however, lacks digitalisation, automation, effective collaboration and is predominantly utilising virgin materials with extensive carbon emissions. Specifically, the crucial role of data to understand the performance of stabilised soil has, so far, received too little global research and industry attention. Advances in sensor technology such as distributed fibre optic sensors (DFOS) and geophysics merged with data mining techniques offer intriguing possibilities to obtain smarter information and catalyse new design and execution techniques to stabilise soil. Industry by-products such as blast furnace slag, fly ash, bottom ash and biochar have beneficial properties to stabilise soil, in addition to a far lower carbon footprint compared to cement. The primary aim of GOAL is to turn soil stabilisation more digitalised and sustainable by adopting latest sensing and data mining techniques as well as industry by-products. This will be achieved through: 1) validation of non-destructive and distributed sensing (i.e. DFOS and shear wave velocity measurements) for soil stabilisation using laboratory and full-scale trials, 2) an automated design framework combining soil stabilisation knowledge and monitoring data and 3) environmental and economic life-cycle assessments (LCA) resulting in green value chains around industry by-products as sustainable, climate-friendly and cost-effective soil stabilisers. The GOAL consortium will comprise 5 industry partners in soil stabilisation and utilisation of industry by-products. The other 5 partners are world-leading international research groups on infrastructure sensing, geophysics, LCA and soil stabilisation. The excellence of GOAL thus relies on a strong transdisciplinary team which aims to stimulate competence and data-driven innovation to transform soil stabilisation.

Funding scheme:

BIA-Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena