Retaining blocks support Kayamandi upgrading

Terraforce-view-to-Kayamandi-(2)Last year, Cape Retaining Systems, a retaining block manufacturer and Terraforce licence-holder, was approached by Requad Construction to assist in establishing a greater habitable surface area for building low cost houses near the informal settlement of Kayamandi, outside Stellenbosch.

After various options had been considered, Terraforce retaining blocks were decided on as they would provide a cost-effective and durable method for creating platforms and road/sidewalk support on the old farmland that was to be reclaimed for the housing development.

Henk van Renssen, project engineer with Arcus Gibb, the consulting engineering company involved in the project, says, “The site, called TRA2 (Temporary Relocation Area 2), forms part of the bigger Watergang Housing Project and will soon be home to 380 families who need to be relocated so that the upgrading can take place. The homes, for now consisting of basic wooden structures, will give way to 100 permanent houses. The goal is to provide more formal housing in the long run, while improving the general environs.”

The retaining blocks used at the Kayamandi site were pioneered by Terraforce – the Cape Town based precast concrete licensor. Jeremy Leighton of Cape Retaining Systems says, “What makes this product so popular in the industry is that the blocks require low hardware input for manufacture, low transport costs and low inventory requirements at sales outlets. They are hollow, yet strong enough, and require less concrete to do the job when compared to solid block systems, which of course saves money.

“Concrete retaining walls constructed using the Terraforce system can be easily formed into complex curves or walls in which the upper and lower profiles change,” he adds.

{xtypo_quote}The system also offers a choice between round face (plant supportive) or flush face (smooth or split version) blocks, to suit specific requirements. Above all, they present a closed vertical surface structure that provides a maximum amount of soil mass within the wall, which prevents backfill spillage, while at the same time offering uninhibited permeability.{/xtypo_quote}
The first concrete foundations for the retaining walls at TRA2 were laid in November 2009. Each of the three walls is fitted with a 110mm subsoil drainage pipe that runs the full length of the wall and exits through weep holes cut into individual blocks at regular intervals. As the walls were built up, a sand drainage layer of 500mm was filled to the top to prevent possible damming up of water.

concrete products concrete retaining blocks earth stabilisation housing development low cost housing precast concrete products retaining walls urban development urban infrastructure urban upgrading
Previous story
keyboard_arrow_upThe sculptural possibilities of concrete
keyboard_arrow_downThe sculptural possibilities of concrete

As part of the annual programme for its Young Concrete Sculptor Awards, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has announced the 2010 workshop schedule for artists who intend entering this year’s competition. Workshops will be held around the country through March, April and May 2010.The PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards competition is held in conjunction with the Association of Arts in Pretoria, a non-profit organisation that promotes the visual arts.

Next story
keyboard_arrow_upDry-stacked retaining wall system
keyboard_arrow_downDry-stacked retaining wall system

RidgeBlok is a new retaining wall system from Infraset Landscape Products. The dry-stacked concrete block system allows for the construction of retaining walls at angles of between 70 and 90°. RidgeBlok has already been used extensively to shore up embankments in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). It has also been used to build a retaining wall, 8.5m high in some sections, at the new entrance to the Unisa campus in Pretoria.

keyboard_arrow_upSwartland: Preventative measures to minimise maintenance of wooden doors
keyboard_arrow_downSwartland: Preventative measures to minimise maintenance of wooden doors

Wooden doors offer many benefits – wood is an excellent insulator, it is a green building material, and there is nothing that quite compares to the rich natural beauty of solid timber. So, if you are choosing wooden doors for your home, here are some tips from Cobus Lourens, from leading window and door manufacturer, […]

keyboard_arrow_upJohnson Controls’ YMAA chillers and YMPA heat pumps ramp up the competition in the entry-level chiller segment
keyboard_arrow_downJohnson Controls’ YMAA chillers and YMPA heat pumps ramp up the competition in the entry-level chiller segment

The high price tag of even entry-level chillers has made this market segment very competitive. Johnson Controls’ Amichi Series of Chillers and Heat Pumps, introduced to the South African market just six months ago, offers a high value option, featuring a technology stack and performance that is hard to beat.

keyboard_arrow_upInterbuild Africa celebrates 50 years in 2018
keyboard_arrow_downInterbuild Africa celebrates 50 years in 2018

Interbuild Africa is the largest and longest running building services and construction exhibition in Africa. This event, which is dedicated to Africa’s SME building services and construction market, will celebrate its 50th anniversary when it returns to the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC), at Nasrec, Johannesburg, from 15-18 August 2018.