Vermaasdrift – next to Vaal River, November 2007
Owner: Little Swift Investments
Engineer: JJG Construction
Manufacturer: Technicrete – Stilfontein
Product: Earthform Retaining Walls Blocks – grey – 320 X 290 X 180
A steeply sloping building site of almost 40 degrees created a special engineering and environmental challenge for architects and contractors involved in the construction of a protective retaining wall for a holiday home at Uvambu Lodge on the banks of the Vaal River. It had to be both a permanent protection against the seasonal moods of the river – and at the same time merge unobtrusively with the rural calm of the place.
Terracing was the obvious solution, and Technicrete’s Concor Earthform garden blocks – designed precisely for assignments such as this – were selected. The concrete block provides a natural-looking support for terraces, particularly on steep, difficult-to-maintain slopes. And its hollow centre filled with topsoil and compost becomes a natural home for flowering plants. What initially looks like a wall of concrete blocks quickly becomes a wall of colour.
About 3 000 of the Concor Earthform blocks were used in the construction of three terraces for the home – each stepped to about 15m in total with grass lawn planted on each level surface.