The Power of Geofoam – A case study on the use of Plasti-Fab GeoFoam for Soil Stabilization

Check out the video or read the transcript below to learn how Geofoam EPS was an integral soil stabilization solution for an Elementary school.

In 2000, the elementary school in isolated Attawapiskat first Nations communities of northern Ontario was closed due to unsafe conditions. despite numerous promises to build a new school it took over a decade before funding is finally authorized. ground was finally broken on the new 19,056 ft.² Attawapiskat elementary school April 2012.

Built to provide a safe and permanent new school for over 500 students will also serve as a community facility and flooded evacuation point in the surrounding area. To facilitate this, design team at PB architects was required to elevate the school roughly 8 feet above the unstable soil conditions of the floodplain.

However the short construction deadline meant it wouldn’t be enough time for the soil to settle, so the architects turned to Plasti-Fab geospan expanded polystyrene EPS Geofoam as the structural lightweight solution.

Geospec reduces the load on underlying soils which would minimize the amount of settlement and stabilizing needed for the schools built up foundation.

It is 20 to 30 times lighter than other alternatives, a critical factor because of the distance the materials needed to be transported by barge.

Taking out approximately a foot of soil they added gravel and sand, and added about 4 feet of Geospec. More sand and gravel and finished it with a concrete slab.

The ease of installation accompanied without the use of heaven earth handling equipment sped up the extremely tight construction schedule and was an integral part of the fast and solid construction of the Attawapiskat First Nation school.

To learn more about Geofoam and it’s applications, visit Geofoam Solutions on

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