Bags beat blocks for ‘green wall’ project

30 January 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201913348

Construction, Civil & Structural Engineering
Bags beat blocks for ‘green wall’ project

FIBERTEX recently worked with Siyamba Earthworx contractors to design and install a green-wall solution, rather than using conventional retaining blocks, for a project in Salt Rock, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

Jeremy Wayne Muthusamy, Key Accounts Manager, Fibertex SA said the project required retaining walls to be built around the property to allow for excavation of foundations for a new house.

“Although site conditions were fairly good, it was important that the new construction did not disturb the existing infrastructure and retaining walls of three well-established properties bordering this plot,” he said.

“The Fibertex technical design team designed a reinforced wall, that is suitable for site conditions and also meets the client’s request for a green-faced structure, with enhanced aesthetics.”

Muthusamy said Fibertex nonwoven geotextiles, which are manufactured from highly UV stabilised virgin Polypropylene (PP) or recycled Polyester (R-PET) fibres, are gaining popularity in landscaping and building installations.

“The FiberRock geobag and geogrid system creates an environmentally-friendly green wall, compared with conventional hard-facing concrete structures.”

Fibertex FiberRock 20S geosynthetic sand containers (GSC bags) - a lightweight, durable and cost-effective substitute for traditional earth retention systems - were used as a facing for the reinforced walls of this installation. GSC-bags are an attractive and efficient protection for slopes and also aid in erosion control.

FiberRock 20S GSC bags are made from a strong and highly porous fabric, which is mechanically needle-punched together. By filling these bags with a free-draining medium, like sand, a durable retaining structure can be built, which allows the free passage of water through the structure.

The contractor has used these GSC’S as a medium for planting shrubs, which will eventually cover the entire structure, to attain the green wall requested by the client.

Retaining walls for this project were reinforced with Secugrid, which is a soil reinforcing geogrid, in accordance with the engineer’s design requirements.

Fibertex Secugrid geogrids - with high modulus extruded monolithic bars and welded junctions - were used to minimise soil deformation under tensile loads over the lifetime of the structure. All variations of Fibertex FiberRock GSC bags are manufactured at the company’s KZN plant.

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