Home » Geobear Celebrates 40 Years of Engineering Success

Geobear Celebrates 40 Years of Engineering Success

(September 26, 2023)

It is 40 years since Geobear introduced a revolutionary idea in ground engineering.

Look at the Geobear timeline

Confronted with a collapsing floor in a popular Finland department store, the traditional and highly disruptive approach of underpinning was rejected in favour of injecting geopolymer compounds into the affected area. These rapidly expand and solidify to become as strong and resilient as concrete despite weighing 10 per cent as much. 

The department store was back in business within a few days, and Geobear hasn’t looked back since. Now, 40 years on, its technology has been deployed in more than 215,000 projects in 38 countries worldwide and runs operations in the USA, China, Poland, Sweden, Finland and Ireland from its headquarters in the UK. 


As well as being both cheaper and significantly quicker than the alternatives, Geobear’s approach is also far greener, with the process leading to between 53 per cent and 76 per cent lower emissions, depending on the project.

It is also leading to many trees being saved, with Geobear resolving around 500 subsidence cases a year where trees would be lost using other engineering methods.

The company has ambitions to go further, becoming carbon neutral in 2021 and recently launching a carbon-savings calculator which shows clients the emissions prevented for each tree saved. 

Geobear’s CEO, Otso Lahtinen, says that although the company has been using geopolymer injection for 40 years, its potential is still becoming apparent.

He said: “A technology designed to save a shop from actual and financial collapse has now been used more than 200,000 times to stabilise the ground under offices, railway embankments, homes and all types of commercial properties.

“We can use the very latest technology to target and treat affected areas quickly, effectively, with minimum disruption and in a way that reflects the acute need to reduce emissions and meet the climate challenge.

“The demands of the next 40 years are becoming clearer as the world continues to urbanise, with new infrastructure badly required and much existing capacity in urgent need of renewal.

“None of this can happen if we can’t rely on the ground beneath our feet and our buildings to be stable and secure.”

The Geobear Geopolymer Injection Solution 

Geobear’s innovative technique involves drilling a series of small holes and injecting an expansive geopolymer material into the ground or beneath structures, where it solidifies, enhancing the load-bearing capacity of soil or stabilising weakened structures. Geopolymer injections offer several key advantages, including minimal disruption to existing business operations, reduced environmental impact, and increased durability. By effectively addressing ground instability and structural issues, geopolymer injections provide a long-lasting and eco-friendly solution for a wide range of engineering challenges.

The Geobear Carbon Savings Calculator

Geobear recently developed a Carbon Savings Calculator which shows how much CO2 sequestered within trees would be released to the atmosphere if they are cut down. Various measurements are then taken of the trees and a carbon calculation is made. In London, a city badly affected by subsidence, around 70 per cent of cases are caused by trees. Making sure these are not lost during remedial works means they can continue to absorb and store carbon. 

Leading the Industry

As Geobear’s CEO, Otso Lahtinen, has said: “Our vision is to be the leading provider of sustainable, data-driven asset management solutions for the built environment”. 

With a portfolio of more than 215,000 successful projects spanning diverse sectors such as infrastructure and commercial projects as well as the private, insurance and social housing sectors, Geobear has consistently shown its expertise in tackling even the most intricate ground-engineering challenges.

Steve Featherstone, Managing Director of Sachle Consultants Ltd, said: “With 40 years of knowledge, experience and data, Geobear has changed the art of geopolymer injection into the science of geopolymer injection. Its own in-house design team is able to turn ground information into a predictable design outcome to improve the underlying ground conditions. The ability to produce high-quality designs has opened up infrastructure asset management as a significant growth area for the company.”

Peter Ingram, Associate at ARUP, said: “Geobear is part of the cross-industry steering group that has developed a standard Specification for Expanding Geopolymer applications for ground engineering. These applications can provide efficient solutions to complex engineering problems relating to settlement control and void filling. Thanks to the hard work of all involved, and the openness and cooperation of the Geobear team, the first revision of this specification is now available for use across the engineering community.”

Geobear Customer Comments

“Our project greatly benefited from the professional geotechnical design and execution services provided by Geobear. As structural engineers on this vertical expansion project, the building’s existing foundations needed strengthening. We had initially proposed to increase the area of the existing concrete pad foundations, which was going to be a costly and challenging construction. After consultations with Geobear’s geotechnical designers and reviewing the existing ground conditions with them, we were able to use one of their innovative solutions to inject grout polymer beneath the existing foundations to support the expansion. This was a huge success to the project saving cost, time and was more sustainable. Geobear also monitored the building’s movement and assisted the contractor during grouting to eliminate execution error and advise on the extent of grout required. The end results were very impressive and successful. Throughout the design and construction process Geobear was a pleasure to work with. We would highly recommend them and would like to see their innovative, less invasive solutions used more often.” 

Steve Pinnegar, C&S Director, BakerHicks 


“SVR are very encouraged by the results and would be keen to work with Geobear again in the future.” 

Jonathan Dunster – Managing Director, Severn Valley Railway 


“What I like about the Geobear solution is first and foremost the sustainability and its cost effectiveness. The company also provides weekly CPDs that I have attended and enabled me to understand the solution a lot more. I would recommend it to anybody that I work with.” 

Simba Manjonjori – Project Manager, Harrow Council


“The project was well-organised, and it was successfully aligned with a tight schedule. The work was also carried out professionally, taking the railway environment into consideration.” 

Janne Luomaoja, Ramboll CM Oy

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