Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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by Mike Dahl, LC/DBM 24 LC DBM Big Block Retaining Walls Building Taming aggressive slopes often takes intensive retaining walls built with large units. Installing these features successfully demands that appro - priate building techniques be followed. First and foremost, design calculations should follow good engineering judgment and standard methodolo - gies such as those from NCMA, AASHTO, or Allan Block, who recently put out an SRW best practices manual, which is the main source for this article and the principal tool in the manufacturer's Zero Wall Failure Program. Following are some of the key takeaways from this manual. Engineer Required? Local codes and municipalities dictate, based on minimum height requirements, when engineering of a wall is a necessity. However, height is not the only factor. Others include, but are not limited to: soil conditions, number of terraces, steepness of slopes above or below, amounts of seismic loading and roadway surcharges. Besides the wall layout and wall heights, a site plan should determine conditions above and below the wall, as well as locations and levels of live and dead loads. And it should point out locations of all existing and proposed utilities. A thorough geo -

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