Gravity Wall Overcomes Site Setback

Sept. 13, 2017

When a quick fix for failing retaining walls is not an option, removing the wall and starting over can feel like a major setback. Gulf Coast Pavers diminished that feeling at the proposed site of ALOFT hotel in College Station, Texas, by suggesting a Redi-Rock wall.

“We offered the solution of constructing a new Redi-Rock retaining wall in front of the existing one that allowed us to increase the elevation and provide stability,” said Matt Airhart of Gulf Coast Pavers.

ALOFT’s brand is one of modern luxury, so the retaining wall aesthetics mattered, too. The new perimeter wall and detention pond would need to provide usable space and complement the development next to Texas A&M University.

Using the Redi-Rock gravity system, where the weight of 1-ton concrete Lego blocks is sufficient to hold back the earth, designers created a wall that did not require reinforcement.

“The client chose Redi-Rock because we could engineer a solution using 60-in. middle and bottom blocks, which solved the global stability issue that had caused the existing small-block walls to fail on both the detention pond and along the adjacent ditch,” said Browne Baker of Wilbert Vaults of Houston, the local Redi-Rock manufacturer.

Using blocks cast in the limestone texture, the detention pond height was increased to 9 ft and the perimeter walls stood 6 and 9 ft tall.

“With extremely limited space and the new height requirements, the Redi-Rock wall system was the perfect solution,” Airhart said. Gulf Coast Pavers was able to not only provide an engineered option to solve the global stability issue, but also an aesthetic option, keeping progress moving in the right direction for ALOFT.