Maccaferri ParaMesh - Best Geosynthetics Project Award
A view of the work from Maccaferri’s project video (see end of article).

The 7th edition of Geosynthetics Middle East (GeoME 2015) wraps up today, November 17, in Abu Dhabi. The event has grown steadily and, in recent years, has even been held Under the Patronage of Abu Dhabi Municipality. With 2015, organizers have added the GeoME Awards. Maccaferri has taken home the inaugural award for Best Geosynthetics Project.
The winning project involved a 32m-high reinforced retaining wall in the Al Jais Mountain Road Project, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. A video of the project is included here. (Scroll down.)
In a statement about the honor, Maccaferri described how the ParaMesh-utilizing soil reinforcement work: a 36km stretch of road, which rose to a height of 1700m (5577 feet), posed a serious challenge due to the mountainous terrain. The retaining wall solution combined the company’s Terramesh® System (facia, secondary reinforcement) and high-strength geogrids (ParaLink®) for primary soil reinforcement.
The resulting composite “ParaMesh” system produced a number of cost savings for the difficult construction, along with sustainability and aesthetic benefits.
Rock blasted material up to 20cm size was even able to be used in the backfill, due to the vertical spacing between the primary reinforcement layers. That primary geogrid also featured a durability-enhancing polyethylene coating.
Project stakeholders, it has been reported, also appreciated the environmental benefits, both intrinsically and for how the reduced carbon footprint in development of the area has become part of the tourism-focused region’s story.


Still, safety and long-term performance of the design was paramount.
The ParaMesh system was engineered for strength against seismic activity, which was essential given its close proximity to Iran, which has active fault lines.
The impressive height of the geosynthetic-reinforced construction, the reduction of the carbon footprint of engineering works, the community benefits of the design, and the seismic stability provided by the materials were all factors in the committee’s selection of Maccaferri to receive the first GeoME Award for Best Geosynthetics Project.

This isn’t the first time the company has been recognized for innovative reinforcement designs in seismic regions and with difficult terrain. In 2012, the company was honored with the International Project of the Year by UK-based Ground Engineering Magazine for Maccaferri’s 80m-high composite reinforcement design for the airport in Sikkim, India. Geosynthetica interviewed engineer Pietro Rimoldi about that work.
For more information about Maccaferri’s materials, engineering services, and international offices and projects, visit
Geosynthetics Middle East is held annually and organized by SKZ.
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