Official Terms of Reference - Approved by TC on September 14, 2015 in Edinburgh, UK.
Geo-structures and geo-operations often form important interfaces between the built and natural environments, and interact with and affect a wide variety of externalities. Geotechnical design and construction, being placed early in a typical civil engineering project, can significantly contribute to sustainable development by adopting environment-friendly, cost-effective and socially-acceptable choices and setting a precedent for the remainder of the project. Further, geotechnical engineering has a very important role in mitigating and containing disasters, and failure to do so is often catastrophic to the society. Thus, geotechnical engineering has a wide gamut and can influence the sustainable development of infrastructure and civil societies in a significant way.
Potential areas that could fall under the purview of this TC are:
(1) Innovative, environment friendly and energy efficient geotechnical techniques for site investigation, construction, monitoring, and ground improvement;
(2) Sustainable use of geotechnical systems and materials, including retrofitting and reuse of waste materials, foundations and other geotechnical structures;
(3) Use and reuse of underground space for beneficial purposes including storage of energy and carbon dioxide;
(4) Geotechnical techniques involved in the exploitation of renewable energy sources, such as shallow and deep geothermal, solar and wind energies;
(5) Development of sustainability indicators and assessment tools in geotechnical engineering,
(6) Socio-economic impacts from geo-activities, for example from mining and petroleum extraction, dam construction and landfill/waste disposal;
(7) Geohazard (man-made and natural) vulnerability and mitigation, including the effects of global climate change and multi-hazards; and
(8) Practice of geoethics and maintaining geodiversity.
The purpose of TC 307 is to monitor, contribute to and disseminate information on sustainability related issues in geotechnical engineering. The TC will actively participate with interested stakeholders in industry and academia in arranging specialty conferences, workshops and events on sustainability in geotechnical engineering. The committee will publish, from time to time, state-of-the-art review articles/papers/reports in journals, conference proceedings, and magazines to promote this new area. The committee may also assist in publishing edited volumes of collected papers in this area. Any other activity that may be deemed necessary within the purview of promoting the new area of Sustainable Geotechnics will also be the responsibility of TC 307.