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Maccaferri: Innovative, long-lasting and environmentally friendly solutions for sustainable constructions

Published on: Feb. 17, 2023 Updated on: Jul. 17, 2023
6 minutes read
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Today, the approach to the design and development of civil and environmental engineering works is increasingly considering social and environmental aspects along with the economic impacts of new structures.

Indeed, the integration of engineered systems into the natural environment has proved to be effective to enhance community health and safety, ecosystems and to boost the economy.

As Maccaferri, a leading international provider of advanced solutions to the civil, geotechnical and environmental construction markets, for over 140 years we have been promoting the adoption of a sustainable approach to construction.

Nurturing the world of tomorrow is our company’s vision that clearly conveys the continuous commitment towards the development of solutions that blend in with nature, with an eye on quality of life and on preserving the environment for future generations.

Starting from the conception of the famous 'gabion', a box-shaped element made of double-twist wire mesh and containing stones, created for the hydraulic sector, the range of cutting-edge products has been expanded. Our portfolio includes high-quality synthetic and multi-composite materials for retaining walls, ground reinforcement applications, rockfall protection, landfill and reclamation works, and other solutions for the civil and engineering construction industry (maccaferri.com).

Today Maccaferri has 23 plants spread all over the world and has carried out works in over 130 countries in 2022, enabling the development of infrastructures and becoming a point of reference for a plurality of subjects, such as governments, large contractors and design studios. From rockfall protection in India to the protection of the US coastline, from the redevelopment of the Novo Pinheiros, one of the most important rivers in São Paulo (Brazil), to the supply of materials and know-how for the construction of the Variante di Valico (one of the most challenging recent infrastructure projects in Italy), or to the recent supply of the technology behind the Museum of the Future in Dubai, one of the most innovative buildings in the world, we continue to develop engineering systems for the benefit of the environment, the territory and, therefore, of human beings.

A look at our core solutions

In the second half of the 19th century, we invented Gabions and dramatically changed civil engineering’s landscape. Historically, it began as the idea of a sustainable work, the gabion, whose filling can in fact be done with the materials of the site in which it is inserted, avoiding the transport of material from other areas, thus reducing CO2 emissions, and respecting the landscape, since it does not introduce extraneous elements to the site of intervention. After the gabion, over the years, our portfolio has been enriched with a series of works that are increasingly groundbreaking and tailor-made to the needs of individual designers. Just as we did back then, every day we work to prove we care, testing solutions, acquiring certifications and introducing new products that are increasingly sensitive to environmental impact, such as PoliMac.

PoliMac is our new highly tested coating for double twist steel wire products, our innovative and environmentally friendly coating is free of heavy metals, and it does not release polluting substances. Another great example of the innovation of our product is certainly TerraMesh (maccaferri.com/products/terramesh/), a modular system, with different façade options, used to stabilize reinforced soil with verticals or steep slopes.

TerraMesh
TerraMesh Retaining Wall along Route 82, Mendoza (Argentina) – full case at https://www.maccaferri.com/

As far back as the ancient Egyptians, we can trace the use of natural materials to stabilize steep slopes or unstable soils, but it was thanks to the advent of the use of polymers in the 1960s that it was possible to start manufacturing long-lasting synthetics materials, kicking off the modern era of geosynthetics. Geosynthetics owe their success to the variety of functions they can perform and to the fact that, thanks to their properties, they can economically replace traditional construction techniques while improving the performance. From an environmental point of view, the use of geosynthetics makes it possible to replace large thicknesses of inert material with a single layer of geosynthetic, drastically reducing not only the onerous costs of excavation and transport, but also the consequent emissions caused by it. As Maccaferri we have been working to launch the next generation of GSY, with the development of multifunctional materials that can perform 3 or more functions (maccaferri.com/products/multicomposite/). This type of modern and advanced material has recently been introduced to the market and is gaining great popularity due to the many advantages it brings to industry stakeholders (in terms of performance, installation accuracy, project cost).

Maccaferri Multicomposites
Multicomposite Geosynthetics installed as part of the landfill capping in Cava de’ Tirreni (Italy) – https://www.maccaferri.com/products/multicomposite/

A core focus of Maccaferri’s activity is the mitigation of rockfall hazards, a very ambitious goal, especially considering how in today's world people are increasingly exposed to a growing combination of hazards and risks, in locations and sizes never seen before. We take on the task of responding to this growing need by designing robust and safe solutions. Within our portfolio we offer rockfall solutions from drapery systems to barriers, from rockfall embankments to active defense systems for avalanche risk mitigation. We have not stopped there, in addition to the most popular active and/or passive protection systems we have developed HelloMac (maccaferri.com/products/hellomac/), an IoT risk prevention and warning system capable of safeguarding lives, infrastructure and buildings. A device capable of detecting any type of event such as impacts, detachments and deformations of soil, rock faces and installed rockfall protection systems, instantly sending an alert.

HelloMac
HelloMac early warning system installed on a rockfall protection barrier (Italy)

Our partnership with Rocscience

Maccaferri makes innovation its commitment and every product in our portfolio is designed to be available to every designer, along with technical support always provided by our engineers. As Maccaferri we develop our own software, which are free of charge and available online at maccaferri.com. In addition, our partnership with Rocscience allowed us to start a precious collaboration that led to the integration of our products and solutions within their design software. In the field of civil and geotechnical engineering, several products are available, from TerraMesh for reinforced soil structures, to the ParaGrid and ParaLink geogrids (maccaferri.com/products/monoaxial-geogrids/) for soil reinforcement, to Rockfall solutions where all the rockfall barriers in our portfolio are available in Rocscience software.

Maccaferri Monoaxial Geogrids
Installation of Paradrain, the innovative 2-in-1 geogrids that fulfils both drainage and soil reinforcement functions.

In addition to our partnership with Rocscience, Maccaferri works every day to find better and sustainable solutions for our stakeholders at every degree of latitude and longitude. We are proud to collaborate with leading global research institutes a universities around the world. Furthermore, all our solutions are highly tested and certified by the most important international bodies; it is our priority to guarantee the quality of our entire product portfolio, apart from the continuous research and development of ever more innovative and environmentally friendly solutions.

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