5/2019 – Moving mountains with Terraforce

For South African educational campuses, sports facilities are always a top priority, and when Somerset College, one of the co-educational private schools in South Africa, was faced with a large, steep hill standing in the way of expanding their existing sports campus, major earth moving was unavoidable.

Creating space for a new sports fields on a steep slope with Terraforce

Creating space for a new sports fields on a steep slope with Terraforce

One of the ramps and staircases, as well as seating next to the hockey field

One of the ramps and staircases, as well as seating next to the hockey field

A view down the slope give and idea of the challenge faced

A view down the slope give and idea of the challenge faced

Faced with exposed cut and fill slopes, main contractor on site, Poplar Trading, needed a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing way to retain these – up to five metres high -embankments.

Says Coen Marais, Poplar Trading: “we needed to create space on a massive slope for two new rugby fields, two cricket ovals and a hockey field. To achieve this, we moved 80 000 m² of earth and placed 55 000 m² of drainage. Loxton Irrigation placed over 50 000 m irrigation, while Vredenburg Lawns and another company, Yokwana Contracting, installed 55 000 m² of lawn.  In addition, we also installed some gabions and Terraforce 4×4 Step block seating adjacent to the hockey field”

Terraforce wheelchair ramps for student access

Terraforce wheelchair ramps for student access

Close-up of the Terraforce stairs and ramp

Close-up of the Terraforce stairs and ramp with railings to be added

The Terraforce ramps blends in style with the main retaining wall

The Terraforce ramps blends in style with the main retaining wall

Sub-Contractor Decorton Retaining Systems were called in as expert installers for the Terraforce walls needed on site, specifically to build a retaining wall with staircases and wheelchair ramps for student access, as well as additional space for an entry road and pavilion above the AstroTurf sport field. SP van Blerk, Decorton, says installation went according to plan: “Icos Engineering submitted a great design that specified the necessary reinforcing to match wall height, soil and surcharge conditions.”

The earth moving and walls were completed February this year, however some landscaping still needs to be completed to showcase the end result to full effect.

Terraforce wall and seating next to the hockey field

Terraforce wall and seating next to the hockey field, with solar powered score board

The second Terraforce ramp and staircase above the hockey field

The second Terraforce ramp and staircase above the rugby field

Poplar Trading moved 80 000 m² of earth and placed 55 000 m² of drainage on site

Poplar Trading moved 80 000 m² of earth and placed 55 000 m² of drainage on site

The Terraforce 4x4 Step block seating with a solar power driven score board

The Terraforce 4×4 Step block seating with a solar powered score board

Project participants
Engineer: Icos Engineering
Quantity Surveyor: QS Bureau
Main Contractor: Poplar Trading
Sub-Contractor: Decorton Retaining Systems Pty Ltd
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