Working Platform Design & Soil Stabilisation 

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Working Platform Design

A unique design approach & software specifically for working platform stabilisation

Safety is critical when using mobile cranes, piling rigs and other heavy plant machinery on construction sites, particularly over weak and variable ground. Storage areas for plant machinery and materials on site need to be smooth, clean and free of ruts, so safe working platform design is essential.

Tensar geogrids can be incorporated into the granular material to stabilise working platforms and increase bearing capacity, limiting surface deformation and settlements. Strengthening the granular layer enables the working platform thickness to be reduced. By reducing the volume of fill required, costs, time and emissions are reduced, contributing to sustainability objectives.

For sites that require enhanced stability, a piling mat can be designed using Tensar geogrids, ensuring that the ground can safely support heavy machinery, further enhancing the safety and efficiency of construction operations. 

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How does Tensar geogrid improve working platform strength?

The interlocking mechanism and particle confinement that develops between the aggregate and the Tensar geogrid prevents lateral movement of the granular material. This creates a mechanically stabilised working platform design that significantly increases bearing capacity, and controls differential settlement.

Need a Tensar design for your working platform project?

Tensar’s design team can produce a free of charge “Application Suggestion” to illustrate what Tensar can achieve and how much value can be added to your project.

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Ensuring stability for heavy machinery

A working platform provides a stable surface to support piling rigs, allowing this heavy machinery to be operated safely. All working platforms consist of a layer of granular fill material that is sufficiently wide, thick, and stable to safely support the operation of piling rigs and the movement of this equipment around the site.

However, the exact design of a working platform will vary depending on the loading conditions and requirements of the project.

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The importance of investigation

Working platform design should be carried out by a competent, geotechnical engineer. Design depends on ground conditions and requires sufficient ground investigation data. The working platform thickness depends on subgrade strength, the platform materials and, of course, the expected construction loads. It is important to have a platform that can provide sufficient bearing capacity for safe working, whilst also being economical and straightforward to construct.

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T-Value Design Method 

Tensar’s T-value design method enables a more accurate assessment of the positive effect of stabilising geogrids on the bearing capacity of granular working platforms. Applicable to a range of working platform materials, in different ground conditions, the T-value method enables designs with or without geogrids to be compared - including for subgrade soils with very low shear strength. It can also be applied to surface and shallow embedded foundations, with dry or saturated granular layers.  

For the first time, the full benefits of soil stabilising geogrids can be incorporated consistently in designs for working platforms. The T-Value method delivers verifiable designs that can reduce working platform thickness and improve bearing capacity, cutting construction costs by up to 30% and reducing a platform’s carbon footprint by up to 40%.

The benefits of working platform soil stabilisation

Using Tensar geogrids to create a mechanically stabilised aggregate layer (MSL) has significant benefits over non-stabilised aggregate working platforms: 

  • Increased bearing capacity: the mechanically stabilised layer has an increased bearing capacity, creating a safer and more reliable piling mat design for the operation of heavy plant and machinery.

  • Reduced layer thickness: the aggregate layer can be reduced by more than 50% with no performance loss. This may also mean that less subgrade soil needs to be excavated and disposed of.

  • Lower quality and recycled aggregate types: With increased layer performance, the use of a Tensar MSL may enable the use of lower quality fill materials such as reclaimed aggregates.

  • Long-term cost savings: less excavation and use of reclaimed aggregates can reduce construction costs and site CO2 emissions. 


Design with confidence, from anywhere.

  • Design & evaluate pavement and gravel sections
  • Design & evaluate working platforms
  • Easily compare alternative materials
  • Determine initial and lifecycle cost savings, time savings, and sustainability metrics
  • Create high-level summaries of the design alternatives for project stakeholders
  • Share features that aid collaboration

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