Rammed Aggregate Piers

Hi all. I am wanting to track down embodied carbon data for rammed aggregate piers. I don’t believe there are any EPDs published for the product type. Please share any insights you may have! Thank you.

Hey, Alexis! We’ve used this approach (often called ‘geopiers’) on our projects to great success - both for structural and embodied carbon performance.

When we’ve done the modeling, we typically model A1-A3 by measuring the EC of the two main ingredients—aggregate and cement—separately. The cement EPD should be regionally appropriate, and probably vetted by the structural engineer (unless you yourself are the structural engineer! I am not). For aggregate, there are some recycled concrete aggregate EPDs floating around or, if you’re in OneClick, I believe they have some generic data on aggregate.

Hope this helps!

Hey Jack. Thank you for the advice!

I have used a similar strategy for micopiles - steel casing with grout - estimated using a steel plate EPD and grout EPD.
I have 2 big sticking points. One, we want to run a cradle-to-grave analysis and I’m not sure aggregate will have an appropriate end of life allocation within the LCA programs. I am using TallyLCA.
And two, we are the structural engineer of record, but the piers are delegated design and we will not have the material quantities for quite some time. I am most interested to understand how much aggregate to assume (density within the pier).

Please let me know if you have any other insight! Otherwise I will stick with your advice to lean on the ingredient EPDs.