What the Heck Is a Geo-Composite System and How Can It Affect My Construction Project?

Naue Civil Engineering

As you know, Geofoam (key to a geo-composite system) is a product that works wonders for all types of projects, even those that require a special need such as a drainage system.  Your construction project may be requiring special insulation for a drainage system, soil stabilization or a combination thereof.  Geofoam and a geo-composite or synthetic is the answer of which you seek.

Geofoam system approach image

This type of system is designed to create a water/moisture runoff using both Geofoam and a geotextile or two. In deep tunnel projects, for instance, blocks of Geofoam may be fastened or glued together to form an impenetrable barrier covered with geotextile on either side. These geosynthetic materials create soil stability and moisture escape to retain the structure’s integrity.  The great thing about this technology solution is that this system can be utilized at depths up to forty feet, and provides protection of up to 80kPa, or 1600-foot pounds of lateral pressure.

Benefits of Using This Form of Geosynthetic Solutions

  • Protection against heave and stress from soil expansion, shifting, movement
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Can be brought onsite pre-constructed for speed and efficiency
  • Reduces condensation through dew point shifting to the exterior walls
  • Puncture or deformity of waterproofing membranes disallowed
  • Waterproofing protection during backfill operations
  • Improves R values for insulation purposes (R-3.5 per inch – ASTM C-518) for below grade
  • Relieves hydrostatic pressure


Geofoam and geosynthetic drainage systems are recommended for use in below-grade waterproofing or on rooftop garden systems.  Wherever groundwater may be present at any given time throughout the year, a geo-composite system such as described is recommended.  These sites may include, but are not limited to, retaining walls, highway construction, walkway planters and large landscaping applications, for energy and water conservation purposes, and more.

Geofoam design image

Image Credit: Geo Tech Corporation

Cautions in Use

In the use of deep drainage prevention, it is recommended that a perimeter hydrostatic pressure relief system is included in the construction specifications.  Point loading or high levels of petroleum solvents or fuels must not be within the area of installation, as waterproofing and damp proofing will be subject to failure.

Have more questions?  Feel free to contact us at Poly Molding LLC to identify what thickness or size of blocks are required and geosynthetics may best suit your design and construction needs.

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