Nhoxani Beach, meaning ‘Peaceful Place’, is a prime waterfront private housing estate on the bay of Maputo, situated on the magnificent Santa Maria peninsula, Mozambique.
Preserving coastal forest
Over the last four years, development of seven new sites took place directly behind the front row of sites near the waterfront that consists of approximately 430 m of indigenous coastal forest and bush – preserved by the founders of the concession property.
One site needed urgent erosion control measures to prevent wind and water erosion, due to a large quantities of silicone present in the local sand. This was aggravated by local fisherman and boat skippers taking refuge in the bush and cutting wood to keep warm in winter.
Terraforce to the rescue
Having found information about the Terraforce earth retaining and erosion control system online, developer and shareholder in Nhoxani, Mike Braby, was so impressed with the environmental benefits of the product, that he contacted Terraforce to further discuss the project.
Once an agreement and design were in place in October 2016, the blocks were trucked – from EFS Construction, Terraforce licensed manufacturer based in Mbabane, Eswatini – to Maputo. The blocks were then shipped with dhows (a local boat used for fishing) to Santa Maria, under the watchful eyes of Terraforce Recommended contractor, Ben van Schalkwyk, BRW Projects, who designed and supervised the installation of the Terraforce wall.
Facing the challenges head on
Van Schalkwyk explains installation proved no easy feat: “The wall itself covers 400 m², designed with four three-meter-high interconnecting terraces, the highest point reaching 12,4 m. Getting the concrete foundations placed (each terrace having its own) proved challenging, as the dune bank was constantly collapsing. An Agri drain was placed behind the wall to prevent water build-up that could cause future damage. We also placed Bidim behind the wall, as well as cement stabilised backfill – all the way to the top – to provide extra stability.”
After completion the Terraforce retaining wall was painstakingly planted with indigenous vegetation by local labour. It took another couple of years for construction of the development to begin, during which the wall stood the test of time, without problem.
Great results and a happy client
Braby adds that the overall result exceeded expectations: “The retaining wall design in consultation with engineers and environmentalists created an excellent solution, whilst also establishing a building footprint big enough for a medium size house. The outcome was only possible thanks to the sustainability of the dune using the Terraforce block. The building technology of the house, with robust stilted gum pole foundations, allowed for elevated floors with stunning views. I am happy with how it all turned out.”