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Multi-purpose retaining walls at popular Cape Winery

Sometimes Terraforce blocks are specified for more exceptional purposes than the run-of-mill uses encountered by retaining wall contractors daily. One of these involved the creation of an underground space for a Fat Trap at world renown restaurant, Overture, at Hidden Valley Wines in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Terraforce walls by Dassenberg Retaining Systems

Creating space for a fat trap

Every restaurant serving any type of greasy food or baked goods is required to install a fat trap, designed to intercept most greases and solids before they enter a wastewater disposal system.

kitchen grease trap storage area with stairs and retaining wall

A two tiered ladder with rails leads down to the fat trap

In this case, Overture restaurant is situated on a steep slope and the space for the fat trap needed to be dropped into the ground next to the kitchen area wall. Instead of building traditional brick walls, the estate owners chose to stabilise the resulting cut slopes with Terraforce interlocking and hollow core blocks, a more affordable and all-round solution.

steep area with retaining walls and staircase

The blocks were placed with their flat face outwards, with a 5mm set-back, creating near vertical walls

The Terraforce L12 blocks were installed on site by Terraforce recommended installer, Dassenberg Retaining Systems. Says Georg Brandt, estimator at Dassenberg: “The blocks were placed with their flat face outwards, with a 5mm set-back, creating near vertical walls. For extra stability rebar and concrete was inserted in the blocks all the way to the top. A metal staircase provides access to the fat trap, so the filters can be removed on regular basis.”

retaining wall and stairs to storage of fat trap

A two tiered ladder with rails leads down to the fat trap

Brandt adds that Dassenberg has installed many Terraforce walls at the wine farm over the years: “Johan (Grobbie) Grobbelaar, farm manager at Hidden Valley, has asked us to install many Terraforce walls; for their private tennis court, new parking area and roadside erosion control, as well as a weir for the municipal dam that provides water to the local farmers. Indigenous plants were used throughout the farm and on the walls.”

Other Terraforce walls at the Wine Estate

Besides showcasing a more unusual application of Terraforce blocks (near vertical inclination, flat face finish and replacing traditional brick and mortar walls), the walls for the fat trap recess also demonstrate the system’s ability to cut neat corners, when skillful cutting is applied to the blocks. Bottom line? As a retaining wall system, Terraforce proves over and over that a one block system can do it all! And do it well.


Reversable hollow-core retaining blocks

4 Huguenot Avenue Oranjezicht
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa

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