The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Prefabricated Vertical Drains



Recent Development and Future of PVDs


Quality control of PVDs have improved in recent years with the incorporation of electronics to the installation equipment.  Depth, installation force, GPS coordinates, and date/time information has been adopted in certain cases – such as the Craney Island project as documented by Goldberg (2013).  Goldberg notes that this level of quality control is often not needed, as projects have consistently been successful without such measures [5].


As geosynthetics continue to improve on the basis of the targeted function, installation monitoring techniques become more sophisticated, and researchers continue to better understand factors that affect the discharge capacity of drains and the smear zone effect on hydraulic conductivity of the surrounding soil, surcharge loading with PVDs will only improve as a method of expediting consolidation of cohesive soils for settlement sensitive projects. 



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