Comprehensive Testing of RootSpace, Enhancing our Urban Infrastructure - GreenBlue Urban
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Comprehensive Testing of RootSpace, Enhancing our Urban Infrastructure

As part of GreenBlue Urban’s commitment to continually improve products and solutions, we recently commissioned Lucideon, an independent materials testing and analysis laboratory, to investigate the structural properties of the RootSpace soil cell system.

Highways engineers are particularly concerned about the ability to withstand vertical, lateral, and dynamic loading. For testing, Lucideon was supplied with RootSpace soil cell components assembled into various module sizes.

These tests carried out to BS EN 17150 standards, aimed to assess the structural integrity and load-bearing capacity of RootSpace® under different configurations and infill conditions. The results provide valuable insights into the performance of RootSpace® in our urban infrastructure, including pavement support and underground conveyance and storage systems.

RootSpace® was tested in various configurations, as outlined in Table 1. The samples, constructed by Lucideon’s technicians, included different series (600 and 400) with varying heights, lengths, and widths. Some also considered infill panels to assess their impact on structural performance. Each sample underwent Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) testing to determine its compression strength and deflection characteristics.

Test Program and Methodology:

The testing program involved conditioning all samples in the air at the test temperature for at least 24 hours. Subsequently, each sample was subjected to a constant rate of compression using a servo-assisted hydraulic loading machine, with load and deflection measurements monitored throughout testing.

A pre-load was applied for 5 minutes to allow the specimen to set before continuous loading until failure occurred. The compressive load was applied at a constant rate of 0.5 kN/m²/s, following Method A in BS EN 17150:2019 standards.

Results and Analysis:

The test results, presented in Table 2 and Chart 2, provide insights into the performance of RootSpace® under different configurations and infill conditions. Variations in maximum load (Fmax) and deflection at maximum load highlight the influence of series type and infill panels on structural integrity and load-bearing capacity. Load-deflection and load-time curves further elucidate the behaviour of RootSpace® under compression, offering valuable data for urban infrastructure planning and design.

Comparison with Previous Tests:

In addition to compression tests on RootSpace® Lucideon conducted tests to determine the short-term compression strength of the empty cells for underground conveyance and storage of non-potable water. The results demonstrate the robust construction and high compression strength exhibited by RootSpace® across different applications. Variations in maximum load and deflection provide insights into the structural performance of RootSpace® in diverse urban settings, reaffirming their versatility and efficacy in enhancing urban infrastructure.

Lucideon’s comprehensive evaluation of RootSpace® underscores their effectiveness in optimising urban infrastructure. The test results highlight the structural integrity, load-bearing capacity, and versatility of RootSpace® in diverse urban applications. In particular,

the lateral loadbearing characteristic proved to be the strongest in class, with an assembled system highly resilient to any sideways forces.

RootSpace is the only BBA-certified approved Soil Cell in the UK. The testing is underpinned by the use of UK-sourced recycled high-quality materials, which can also be recycled more than five times.

With product LCAs and company carbon footprint reduction, Greenblue Urban is setting the standard against other manufacturers supplying the UK market.

As our towns and cities continue to evolve, innovations like RootSpace® play a crucial role in building resilient, sustainable, and efficient urban environments.