Concrete retaining blocks assist noise abatement

The checkerboard pattern of the retaining wall was achieved by alternating ridged and smooth-faced Enviro-Wall blocks in its construction.Precast Enviro-Wall blocks manufactured by Technicrete provided the preferred engineering solution for a retaining wall at the new Monument Park interchange on the R21 highway. The highway links Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport and one of the off-ramps at the new interchange skirts close to houses in the suburb.

Excavation work for the highway had created a steep embankment and a retaining wall that would be structurally sound, environmentally appropriate and visually pleasing, was required – to stabilise the embankment and to dampen the traffic noise, limiting its intrusion on the nearby houses.

A total of 26 800 Enviro-Wall interlocking blocks were used to build the wall which is 326m long and reaches a maximum height of just under 5m.

Enviro-Wall offers a variety of visual effects. The blocks can be stacked with gaps for plant growth or as a solid engineering structure. In this project, the engineers opted for a solid face and the completed structure features a checkerboard pattern which was achieved by using blocks with ridged and smooth surface patterns alternately.

Dawid Els of Pretoria consulting engineering firm Nyeleti Consulting, says, “The Enviro-Wall system was chosen for its fine engineering qualities, ease of assembly, and the attractive finished structure it could provide.”

In this project, the retaining wall was not built at the conventional 70º to 75º angle but was instead constructed vertically, with a backfill of low-fines to provide added strength and aid rainwater filtration. This construction was space-saving and avoided interference with nearby stormwater drainage and electricity and water lines.

“The result is an unusually attractive off-ramp feature and an engineering solution that works well,” says Els.

concrete retaining blocks infrastructure development landscaping noise abatement precast concrete products retaining wall systems retaining walls
Previous story
keyboard_arrow_upEnergy-efficient lighting design on display
keyboard_arrow_downEnergy-efficient lighting design on display

Entries from the finalists in Eskom’s 2010 Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition are on display at Radiant’s Wynberg, Johannesburg showroom until 31 October.

Next story
keyboard_arrow_upThe living building challenge
keyboard_arrow_downThe living building challenge

The International Living Building Institute is a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to the creation of a truly sustainable built environment in all countries around the world. The Living Building Challenge is a program initially launched by the Cascadia Green Building Council and has quickly become the most advanced green building rating system in the world.  The program was conceived and originally authored by Jason F. McLennan, CEO of Cascadia prior to joining the organization. 

keyboard_arrow_upStacking up the benefits!
keyboard_arrow_downStacking up the benefits!

Maxiflex introduces Stackdoor®, a completely unique and innovative certified security door solution that combines robustness, high safety specifications, efficiency and optimum security in a neat, compact and flexible package.

keyboard_arrow_upTaking it to the max with versatile door solutions for the distribution industry from Maxiflex
keyboard_arrow_downTaking it to the max with versatile door solutions for the distribution industry from Maxiflex

Maxiflex’s product portfolio for storage and loading dock applications includes docking equipment such as swing lip dock levellers and curtain dock shelters, load-houses, overhead sectional doors, high-speed door systems and PVC strip curtains.

keyboard_arrow_upBatyline AW optimises acoustic comfort
keyboard_arrow_downBatyline AW optimises acoustic comfort

Batyline AW by Serge Ferrari is a high-performance sound absorbing material used for tensioned ceilings, acoustic panels, walls, fittings and decoration. Not only does it offer highly impressive acoustic performance and efficiency through its fine, lightweight compact material – it absorbs up to 65% of reverberation – but, because it is so versatile in its […]