Trenchless technology has become increasingly popular in the construction industry as it provides an environmentally and financially sound alternative to traditional excavation techniques. It comprises a collection of different construction methods, including:
- Horizontal Auger Boring
- Tunnelling and Microtunneling
- Horizontal Directional Drilling
- Pipe Jacking and Ramming
Trenchless technology can potentially call for an expensive outlay, but once you’ve invested in the necessary tools and equipment to carry out your trenchless excavation projects you’ll find that these costs are quickly recouped. In fact, trenchless excavations have the potential to be up to 50% cheaper than traditional open cut methods and are also capable of helping to save costs elsewhere, such as local business revenues that might otherwise have been lost due to reduced pedestrian and vehicular footfall.
This point follows immediately on from the former. Because trenchless technology exponentially reduces the need for invasive excavations, it has much less of an impact on the surrounding environment, both ecologically and socially. Residential neighbourhoods remain unscathed, commercial districts don’t have to deal with loss of business and rural regions remain undisturbed. Noise and air pollution are also kept to a minimum and rehabilitation time is short. This is ideal for helping to protect local wildlife habitats and a boon for environmentally conscious construction companies and local councils looking to secure their green credentials.
Excavating is one of the riskiest aspects of construction and safety is therefore a paramount concern within the civil engineering industry. Rendering the majority of excavations unnecessary can therefore only be a good thing – landslides and related accidents become a thing of the past and workers can instead rely on the manual safety assurances provided by trenchless technology. In addition, doing away with open cut excavations means a reduced risk of encountering ‘unknowns’ below ground surface. These can range from relatively harmless rocks and miscellany to potentially harmful chemicals or unsecured electrical wires.
A lay person might suppose that, without open cut excavation, accuracy of pipe installation, maintenance and repair must surely be reduced. However, one simply has to observe the incredibly accuracy of keyhole medical procedures to see how precise such procedures can be – given the right tools and trained operatives. Trenchless technology is very much comparable to keyhole surgery, in that precise implements can be passed beneath existing surfaces and services in order to carry out complex procedures to a very high standard of accuracy, with very little disruption to the surrounding area