Landscape Newsletter Issue 3
Build Strong Walls - Get a Great Night's Sleep!
|Building an outdoor pool and entertainment area on a sloping hillside presented
a fun challenge for Dan Swartz of Brown/Woods and Associates, a landscape design-build
contractor, in Champaign, Il. The homeowners wanted the job done so it would stand the
test of time and provide a second return on their investment.
John Brown, co-owner of Brown/Woods and Associates, has seen his share of deteriorating walls. He recalls, "Over the years, I have seen walls built poorly by both homeowners and landscape contractors. Proper construction is the key; walls will last forever if they are built correctly. That's why we like Allan Block’s new grid so much. It makes it easy to build strong walls."
| For this project, Brown/Woods constructed a series of three walls to create a level
surface for the swimming pool deck. A 22-foot wide (7 m) staircase was also installed to
provide access from the home to the pool deck. Since the upper wall was quite close to
the house, the 3-foot wide (0.9 m) AB Grid roll was the perfect reinforcement choice.
Over 750 square feet (229 m) of wall was reinforced, grid installation was quick and
simple; AB Grid was rolled out right along the wall face.
"Over the years, I have seen walls built poorly by both homeowners and landscape contractors. That's why we like Allan Block’s new grid so much. It makes it easy to build strong walls."
John Brown, Brown/Woods & Assoc.
| Brown was very pleased with his experience using AB Grid. "These small rolls are
the greatest thing since sliced bread - we always keep a few rolls in stock. It's like
insurance. We throw it in the truck, install it on every wall more than four courses
high - and it helps us sleep great at night. The AB Grid is inexpensive and the cost
is insignificant when you look at the total project,” stated Brown.
The homeowners wanted a backyard "room with a view" to extend their living space and take advantage of the beautiful lot and stunning views. Block manufacturer Illinois Concrete offered many different AB block options. The homeowner selected a blended color block from the AB Europa Collection. "It's nice to have color and style options. You can get some unique looks and distinctive designs with Allan Block,” added Swartz.
The integrated lighting and the matching staircase were special features that really
delighted the homeowners. According to Swartz, "The nicest part of the project is how
proud the homeowners are and how excited they are to show off their new outdoor living
space. They are going to entertain and enjoy it for years to come, and I know that it
will look as good in 20 years as it does today."
How-To: Building walls with AB Reinforcement Grid
Allan Block’s advanced soil reinforcement grid is a simple, easy-to-use system for building landscape walls that require soil reinforcement.
Determine if reinforcement is required.
To build stable walls that stay in place, some sites will require soil reinforcement. AB’s pre-engineered soil reinforcement chart takes the guesswork out of wall design. To determine reinforcement needs, check the following conditions on the wall and match them to the chart: 1) Condition above wall, 2) Wall height, 3) Soil Type, 4) AB block type and setback.
AB Reinforcement Grid is designed and pre-engineered for landscape walls up to 6 ft high (1.8 m). If the site conditions do not fall within those specified in the table above, consult a qualified local engineer. The following conditions also require a complete engineering analysis to determine soil reinforcement requirements:
Using the AB Europa Collection 6° block, a 5 ft high wall (1.5 m) built in sandy soil with a level surface above the wall requires three layers of geogrid, 3 ft wide (0.9 m).
Calculate AB Grid quantity for walls up to 6 ft. high (1.8 m)
Match the wall conditions to the chart above to find which width of Reinforcement Grid to use and the number of layers needed. To determine the number of rolls needed, multiply the length of the wall by the number of layers needed, and then divide by 50 (the length of a roll of grid).
Example From Above:
90 ft (wall length) x 3 grid layers = 270 grid feet
270 grid feet ÷ 50 ft (grid length) = 5.4 rolls (6 rolls)
27.5 m (wall length) x 3 grid layers = 82.5 grid meters
82.5 grid meters ÷ 15.2 m (grid length) = 5.4 rolls (6 rolls)
A typical reinforced wall has geogrid installed on every other course. This process should be started just after the first row of blocks has been installed, filled, compacted and adjusted for level. For more information on base course installation, see the AB Landscape Walls Guide.
Install AB Reinforcement Grid:
Proper installation and soil compaction is critical.
|Soil reinforcement increases the strength of the wall by creating a reinforced mass of soil behind the blocks. The weight of the reinforced soil mass combines with the blocks for a heavier, stronger wall.|
|Curves and Corners
When placing grid along curved walls, the grid should follow the back of the lip. Simply slit the grid with a utility knife and either feather out or overlap to follow the curve.
Building Stable Walls Just Got Easier
|Allan Block's new soil reinforcement geogrid for residential landscape walls solves many
problems faced by landscape contractors and homeowners.
The Challenge: Roughly 45% of low-profile landscape walls up to 6 ft high (1.8 m) require engineering and soil reinforcement. Despite the financial and legal risks of improperly built landscape walls, installers sometimes unknowingly build unstable walls. The whole process of soil reinforcement can seem confusing, expensive and time consuming.
|"Allan Block's new geogrid is perfect for small to
medium-sized landscape walls. The pre-cut three and four foot rolls allow us to easily roll out
the grid right along the blocks. Installation is simple, smooth and fast".
Dan Swartz, Brown/Woods & Assoc.
|The Answer: AB Reinforcement Geogrid. This simple, easy-to-use program includes
pre-engineered wall designs, reinforcement geogrid, estimating tools and installation
guidelines. It takes the guesswork and confusion out of soil reinforcement for small
to mid-size residential landscape walls.
The pre-engineered wall designs can be used by landscape contractors and homeowners to speed the process of construction permits. Allan Block developed the soil reinforcement chart (shown under “How-To”) using a proven engineering methodology that takes into a ccount key project factors including wall height, soil type and job site conditions.
The Payoff: Saves Time and Money. Designed for performance and easy installation,
AB Geogrid was developed specifically for residential landscape walls up
to 6 feet high (1.8 m). While most other geogrids must be cut a section at a time
and pieced together, the AB Grid quickly rolls out along the wall. And with a standard
construction process for every reinforced wall, there's no guesswork during construction.
The first layer of geogrid is always installed on top of the first course of blocks;
then installed on every other course after that. Each roll of easy-to-handle AB Grid
is packaged with simple installation instructions. |
|Estimating and Ordering are a Snap!
Estimating AB block and grid materials couldn't be easier. Allan Block offers both an estimating software program and a laminated calculator wheel for quickly estimating all the materials needed to build a landscape retaining wall up to 6 feet high (1.8 m). Block, AB Reinforcement Grid, base rock and backfill materials, drain tile and capstones are all easily calculated.
The result is a turn-key solution for landscape contractors and homeowners that includes wall designs, reinforcement geogrid, estimating tools, installation guidelines and simplified ordering through your AB dealer. One resource and one delivery of block and grid simplifies job site planning. Ask your Allan Block dealer about the AB geogrid program today.