Embankments with secondary aggregates: economical solution for noise protection and stabilisation

A modern transport network is part of our daily life. It enables individual mobility and secures Germany’s status as a commercially attractive business location. At the same time, traffic represents one of the biggest negative impacts for people and the environment in the form of exhaust gases, fine dust and noise. Due to stricter noise protection requirements, an increasing number of protective measures in the form of noise barriers or embankments have to be installed. Choosing the use of GRANOVA incinerator bottom ash (IBA) – maybe in combination with other secondary aggregates – can offer an economically and ecologically attractive solution, not only for the purpose of noise protection, for example, but also for dams as part of stabilisation measures, especially when large quantities of material are required.

Environmental conditions for use

The construction of an embankment with secondary aggregates such as GRANOVA IBA must be carried out in accordance with the Secondary Aggregate Directive. For this purpose, the local framework conditions must be considered:

  • location of the construction project in regard to water protection areas and hydrogeologically sensitive areas
  • distance between highest expected groundwater level and secondary aggregate formation (defined as groundwater-free percolation zone)
  • type of soil above groundwater-free percolation zone

Based on this data, a decision can be made using the German application slider for secondary aggregates as to whether the use of incinerator bottom ash is permissible.

Construction design examples

When constructing embankments with secondary materials, structural and ecological specifications must be observed. The following examples are two variants from the FGSV leaflet M TS E, which is the binding regulation for the execution of earthworks using secondary aggregates.

All construction methods can be found in our secondary aggregates manual, which you can order as printed version or use online.


Gem.RdErl. defines execution with substitute building materials

Example 1: Embankment with weather-sensitive waterproofing components without percolation layer (principle of construction method A according to M TS E)

Our service package

As part of our GRANOVA service package, we offer the following services for the construction of major embankments and barriers with incinerator bottom ash:

Incinerator bottom ash in embankments: GRANOVA service package

Advantages at a glance

  • Economically interesting alternative compared to conventional design with natural aggregates
  • Safe and technically solid, high-quality construction
  • No risk of erosion during the construction phase, installation independent of weather conditions
  • Regular, homogenous deliveries and predictable construction times (in contrast to working solely with excavated soil or construction and demolition material)
  • High absorption and sound insulation, extended noise reduction through vegetation, low maintenance
  • Good integration into the landscape, good location for vegetation
  • CO2 emission savings through local recycling of minerals
  • Recovery of previous barely used or unused spaces
  • Establishment of a local recreational area