Avalanche protection & rockfall protection

As development continues in mountain regions, alpine natural hazards pose a constantly increasing risk for infrastructure and residential areas. Two major risks here are mass movements such as avalanches or mudflows, and gravitational mass movements such as rockfalls. Suitable protective measures are therefore necessary to protect vulnerable infrastructure.

In the case of avalanche protection, a distinction can be made between temporary, soil bioengineering and above all suitably dimensioned structural protection measures. Dams are one of the most important types of structural protection. They can be divided into retention dams and deflection dams. Due to the high energy levels involved, such dams must be dimensioned accordingly, and construction heights of up to 20 m are often required.

In the case of rockfall protection, a distinction is made between active and passive measures. Passive measures include rockfall protection barriers constructed at the base of the slope. The expected energy of potential falls can be determined by modelling and the required protective barrier can be designed accordingly.

In order to minimise the amount of space needed for such structures, very steep embankments are required. Using plastic-reinforced earth systems and geosynthetics, such projects can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively, even where limited space is available.

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