Assessment of Earth Retaining Wall Sustainability: Value Functions and Stakeholder Weighting Sensitivity

  • I. P. DamiansEmail author
  • R. J. Bathurst
  • A. Lloret
  • A. Josa
  • D. El Mansouri
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


Earth retaining walls are common geotechnical structures with a wide range of solutions available to perform the same function. More and more, geotechnical engineers are asked to find the best solution among several options in different civil engineering applications based on environmental impact, cost and societal/functional issues. Evaluation of these three pillars during the selection process of a structure (such as an earth retaining wall) is called a sustainability assessment. This paper describes a sustainability assessment methodology and gives examples to select the best sustainable option from candidate conventional gravity and cantilever wall types, and steel and polymeric soil reinforced mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls of 5 m height. Analyses were carried out using the MIVES methodology which is based on value theory and multi-attribute assumptions. The paper identifies how indicator issues are scored, weighted and aggregated to generate final numerical scores that allow solution options to be ranked. The final scores include an adjustment based on stakeholder preferences for the relative importance of the three sustainability pillars (environmental, economic (cost) and societal/functional). The analysis results show that MSE wall solutions are most often the best option in each category compared to conventional gravity and cantilever wall solutions and thus most often the final choice when scores from each pillar were aggregated to a final score. The paper also includes a sensitivity analysis of the choice of value functions and stakeholder weighting preferences on the final ranking scores used to select the best sustainable solution. The analyses also show that the choice of value function and stakeholder preferences can lead to a conventional structure being the best option.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. P. Damians
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. J. Bathurst
    • 3
  • A. Lloret
    • 1
  • A. Josa
    • 1
  • D. El Mansouri
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTechBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.VSL International Ltd.BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Royal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada

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