AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

Q2 2022 Issue

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training opportunities

AB Contractor Certification Dates

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ABU Online

Contractor ABU (Allan Block University) Online is available all year long. Check out the topics and dates below and register today for the online events that best fit your schedule. Simply click the link below for each of the events that best fits into your day:

Contractor ABU Online

Allan Block provides 8 different webinars to attend. We have two different topics each day of the week.

Offered on TUESDAYS at 8 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 4 PM CENTRAL TIME (30+ minute sessions)

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In this Issue:

Sign up for the upcoming virtual AB Contractor Certification Class

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REGISTER HERE - Wednesday, May 25th

  • Class time by Time Zone:
  • 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM PDT
  • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM MDT
  • (includes small breaks throughout)

  • Class time by Time Zone:
  • 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM CDT
  • 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM EDT
  • Sign in: 15 minutes prior to start

This course is your opportunity to enhance your knowledge and learn practical skills that have helped thousands of professionals build their segmental retaining wall construction business. As the industry continues to grow and advance, the requirements for contractors to be certified in SRW practices is becoming the standard, and is part of the Best Practices Design initiative for zero wall failures. This course is nationally accredited to fulfill this requirement while providing valuable information and hands-on experience.

What you can expect:

  • Increase efficiency in the design, estimating, and building phases of your project(s)
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition
  • Understand how Allan Block and geogrid work together
  • Recognize how to properly estimate the materials required for a project
  • Learn basics for SRW installation and how to ensure your walls last a lifetime with Best Practice Design
  • Identify four main reasons why walls fail
  • Learn and demonstrate proper construction methods
  • Become aware of industry advancements
  • ICPI & NCMA Accredited Course (7 Credits) Completion of class, hands-on training and then installing an AB Wall project will complete your certification, making you eligible for annual AB Rewards - (receive bags, coolers, dead blow hammers, levels, etc. as a Thank You from Allan Block).

Don't Miss Out On This Opportunity. Enroll Today!

Have questions? Contact Brett Powers at 800-899-5309 ext. 209, or bpowers@allanblock.com.

Already trained and certified? Have a recently completed Allan Block Project? Let us know and receive your Certification and SWAG Rewards!

Contractor Talk – Do You Know Your Local AB Sales Rep?

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Do you know your local Allan Block Sales Rep? Your AB sales rep can help with you pricing, installation, estimates and other questions you may have regarding building with Allan Block. Call us at 800-899-5309 today to find out who your Local AB Sales Rep is!

call AB sales rep

Contractor Program – What to do after an AB Contractor Certification Class

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As the spring landscape season kicks off, now is the best time to ensure that you have completed all steps needed for the AB Contractor Certification Course. With two class formats - with on virtual, there are different requirements for follow up:

Virtual Classes Include:

  • A 5-hour class covering the best practices and installation guidelines for Allan Block


  • Complete the two-part written test and email it to Education@allanblock.com
  • Your local AB sales rep will reach out to set up a time to go through the hands-on demonstration on building walls with AB products
  • Receive an AB Contractor Binder from your local sales rep
  • Build a wall that is at least 3 ft (0.9 m) tall and is a minimum of 300 units (full size or equivalent), then inform your local sales rep
  • Receive AB Certificate and first reward for the year

In-Person Classes Include:

  • A 5-hour class covering the best practices and installation guidelines for Allan Block
  • Two-part written test
  • Hands-on participation building walls with AB products following classroom portion
  • Receive an AB Contractor Binder with valuable literature


  • Build a wall that is at least 3 ft (0.9 m) tall and is a minimum of 300 units (full size or equivalent), then inform your local sales rep
  • Receive AB Certificate and first reward for the year

Whether it’s an in-person or virtual class, every step needs to be completed before you can receive your certificate. Once all of the steps are complete, your local AB sales rep will submit the appropriate paperwork to Allan Block Corp., and we will then get you enrolled in our AB Contractor Certification Program and send you your Allan Block Certificate.

What’s New @ AB - New Tools to Make Life Easier

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Our new AB Metro Patio Wall comes with some easy-to-use and helpful tools to bring together accurate estimates and pricing.

Metro Patio Wall
  • AB Estimating Tool
    • Within the tool, you can choose to estimate Retaining Wall products, Courtyard products, Fence products and now the Metro Patio Wall.
    • Enter your walls parameters and the AB Estimating Tool will provide a complete material estimate for your Metro Patio Wall project.
  • Pricing Excel Sheet
    • Simply add your price per block, materials, and labor to the spreadsheet.
    • Choose from any of the pre-designed elements that are completely illustrated for construction and the price will automatically populate with the information you entered.
    • Calculate designs that are your own creations by filling in the custom worksheet.
  • Web and app-based tool – Coming Soon
    • Choose from several different pre-designed rooms. (Kitchens, Living, Entertaining)
    • You can also choose to design your outdoor rooms using our library of elements. Just drag them into the design and arrange them how you see fit.
    • Save your project, then submit it to our Design Center and within minutes you will receive a PDF document fully organized into a complete project ready to share with your customer. It includes a cover sheet, plan views, estimate worksheet, and fully documented installation for each of the elements within your design.
    • The Design Center will also provide a script file that works with SketchUp. With this file, SketchUp can instantly draw your 3D design in seconds.
  • Website – allanblock.com

Bringing the Inside Outside is a breeze with these helpful Allan Block Tools. Ask your local Allan Block Representative when this new Allan Block Metro Patio Wall will be available in your market.

Featured Collection – AB Europa®

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AB Europa AB Abbey Blend Pattern

The distinctive draw of old-world aesthetics has been in demand for several years. Though the growing trend of mid-century modern is gaining popularity, there is still a high demand for that classic, old-world allure. Do you have clients asking for a more “natural-looking” retaining wall? Allan Block has the perfect solution.

AB Europa® is a tried-and-true product for both residential and commercial projects. Through its production process, this collection achieves a delightful, cobblestone charm that compliments any landscape beautifully. With its soft, tumbled edges and split-face façade, this system adds a dynamic allure without the arduous installation of natural stones or boulders.

Haven’t built with AB Europa before? Not to worry, as all AB retaining wall products have the same installation method. You can even incorporate all four block sizes into a striking Abbey Blend pattern wall.

Contact your local AB sales rep for availability, and upsell your next bid with AB Europa.

Hot Topic: Upgrade Gravity Walls with No-Fines Concrete

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Did you know that there is an alternative way to strengthen gravity walls without the need for geogrid? Well, there is a material that can be used in conjunction with segmental retaining walls called No-Fines Concrete (NFC). NFC is not a new concept and has been in use since the 1800’s. It was originally created to save on costs by minimizing cement and sand requirements. The modern iteration used in retaining walls takes advantage of these cost savings and provides additional weight and strength to the wall facing blocks allowing you to build taller. NFC has been used in the retaining wall industry for the last 30 years, and we at Allan Block have been refining our knowledge over that time.

So what exactly is NFC? As the name implies, it is a concrete product without sand or other fine materials. This leads to a porous material that allows for easy drainage of water just like the washed wall rock used in a traditional geogrid reinforced wall. As well as drainage, NFC creates a permanent type of cohesion and stability once the mix cures. For construction information, please refer to Building with No Fines Concrete.

frost heave
Frost Depth Map

Common applications:

  • Limited Space – walls situated close to property lines or a way to maximize the usable space below the wall by limiting the depth of excavation.
  • Alternative to Big Block – the added mass of the NFC mix can mimic the size and stability of a big block wall but can be built with smaller crews and less heavy machinery. Additionally the shipping costs for a segmental retaining wall using NFC will be greatly reduced because a larger square footage of Allan Blocks can be transported per load.
  • Complex Composite Structures – combine NFC with grid or gravity walls to tackle different project needs. NFC can be used at either the top or bottom of the wall in these scenarios.

If you have any further questions about design and construction, reach out to our engineering department at 952-835-5309 ext. 3.

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