9/2015 – Saving space in a tight spot
Building on a steep slope is always tricky, but even more so if you have to consider other property boundaries and where space is very limited. The greatest drawback is that if you want usable flat areas, much of the garden space may be taken up by banks and steep slopes that link them together.
That is where the beauty of versatile retaining walls – like the Terraforce retaining system – comes in, as they can provide a way of changing levels sharply, which is especially useful if space is tight. Stairways and ramps can be integrated to facilitate quick access to the workable spaces created.
When Camps Bay home owner Sue Schalit noticed that her original stone retaining wall was showing cracks and slight forward movement, she became concerned that it would collapse and cause damage to her garden and neighboring properties.
Says Schalit: “We hired Mike van Wieringen, the geotechnical consultant, to confirm our fears, and his report not only verified movement but also revealed that the foundations were inferior. He recommended a Terraforce wall as it has the least impact on our garden and is an exceptionally strong retaining wall solution. ”
The wall design was supplied by Fred Laker, engineer with Terrasafe, a professional wall design service offered by Terraforce, and Schalit contracted Dassenberg Retaining, approved Western Cape Terraforce installer, to build the new retaining wall.
Says Georg Brand, Dassenberg Retaining: “The site was not an easy one, with very limited work space. All materials had to be carried to the workstation by means of bags and down three staircases. Spoils had to be carried up to road level. The whole process was very labour intensive. To ensure additional strength and due to the height of the wall the lower section had to be reinforced with Y12 steel rebar.”
The wall was completed in less than three months and Schalit was very impressed with the Dassenberg team and the resulting wall: “The team from Dassenberg was incredible, working in tough circumstances, carrying tons of rocks up by hand. The wall is extremely neat and I am very happy with the result!”