The application of geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) to permanent structures carrying roads and/or pedestrian traffic, such as highway embankments, bridge abutments and retaining walls, is rapidly increasing worldwide, because of its cost-effectiveness. GRS is a comparatively new technique and therefore the design methods for it are not well established.
This research, carried out in 1997–1998, reviews the current state of the design practice of GRS in New Zealand and overseas. It includes a review of the international literature on design methods and actual behaviour of GRS structures under static and seismic conditions, with particular emphasis on that from USA and Japan; information on design details and post-construction behaviour of GRS structures constructed in New Zealand; and a comparison of the design assumptions and performance predictions for GRS structures based on different design methods with their actual behaviour that was observed under static and seismic conditions. It forms a basis for further research on the preparation of design guidelines for constructing GRS structures in New Zealand.