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Abstract: Engineering problems in residential and other structures built during the early to mid-2000s in Dublin Ireland were discovered a few years after construction. The damage ranged from cracks in and displacement and tilting of floors to askew walls, jamming of doors and windows, exterior wall cracks, and pipe damage. The cause of the issues was initially incorrectly identified, but was ultimately attributed to the effects of heave caused by the rapid decomposition of the mineral pyrite in the crushed rock structural fill aggregate. The problem was traced to a single quarry that was mining a transitional geological formation; by the time the problems had been diagnosed, a few million cubic metres of rock had been produced at the quarry. Damages due to heave was observed in thousands of structures, primarily residences, in the Dublin area; thus the effects were significant. The problems spawned numerous litigation that occupied significant time, expenditures and resources. These cases illustrate the level of care and scientific diligence that must be applied for even mundane and low-cost construction materials such as structural fill aggregates. Introduction Starting in the 1990s through till about 2007, the Republic of Ireland was undergoing a significant economic boom, with rapid population growth (Figure 1) that drove a wave of construction across the country. In the Dublin area, with its population of approximately 1.25 million, this growth was more pronounced, and it fueled the demand for more housing, roads, commercial, infrastructure, and other types of construction. Given this sustained and dramatic growth, the demand for aggregate products -- including structural fill, road base materials, asphalt aggregate and concrete aggregate -- to service these projects increased dramatically during this period. The increased consumption of these aggregates resulted in the depletion of some of the existing aggregate sources. The aggregate industry responded by opening new sources of aggregate or making plans to open new supplies within a few years.
David J. O'Reilly is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation. A native of Dublin, Ireland, O'Reilly earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1968 from University College, Dublin, from which he also received an honorary doctor of science degree in June 2002. Upon graduation, he began his career with Chevron Research Company as a process engineer. After serving in positions of increasing responsibility, O'Reilly in 1989 was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Chevron Chemical Company. Subsequently, he was elected Vice President, Chevron Corporation, responsible for strategic planning and coordinating quality improvement, and then President, Chevron Products Company, responsible for US refining and marketing operations. From November 1998 until January 2000, O'Reilly served as Vice Chairman of the Board, Chevron Corporation, responsible for worldwide exploration and production and corporate human resources.
JOHN DORAN is chief executive officer (CEO) and the founder of ROC Oil Company. He has more than 30 years of experience in international oil and gas exploration and production, including direct involvement in several corporate expansions, commercial discoveries, and developments in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. After earning a BSc degree in geology at Leicester University, an MSc degree at Sheffield University, and a PhD degree at Trinity College, Dublin, Doran worked for a number of large multinational E&P companies in Ireland, Libya, Iran, and Norway. Since 1980, he has been based in Australia, initially as Exploration Manager for Sydney Oil, a small Australian independent, before becoming Regional Vice President for the mid-sized US independent CMS Nomeco. In 1987, Doran initiated and managed the effective public listing of Nomeco's Australian exploration assets through a merger with Australian-listed Command Petroleum.