Reinforced Ledgestone Walls Protect Ocean-Front Home
Engineered for the long haul, these segmental retaining walls are a great choice to protect shoreline homes
When BC home developer Cam Pringle started building his own ocean-front home on Vancouver Island, he needed a sea wall that could protect his new home from the ocean below.
"I wanted something that was engineerable - so that I could have a stamp saying it wasn't going to fall down, as compared to just a boulder stacked wall," Pringle explained.
Searching for a solution, Pringle worked with local engineering firm Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd. to find the best solution for the project. "A lot of clients don't put that much effort into their seaward walls, but this particular client wanted to do an above-average job because that's the type of work he does," explained John Hessels, managing partner of Lewkowich Engineering.
Two key factors led Pringle and Hessels to choose Redi-Rock for the project:
Structural integrity: "From our perspective as geotechnical engineers, we find it to be the best mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall," Hessels said. "It provides a good barrier between the home and the ocean." Redi-Rock walls are built using massive, 1-ton blocks that stack like giant Lego blocks. This project was reinforced using geogrid to provide extra stability to account for seismic loads and proximity to the ocean. Several courses of block were also buried.
Aesthetics: "I wanted a bulkier look, and the Ledgestone face looked totally natural to me," Pringle explained. The excellent display at local Redi-Rock retailer ABC Precast made choosing Ledgestone an easy decision. The Ledgestone face features an incredibly natural texture that makes individual blocks in a wall hard to distinguish. "It was a really good fit aesthetically and that married up well with the upscale buildings on the lot," added Hessels.
The reinforced sea wall Hessels designed for the project included two 10 foot (3 meter) tall tiers. In addition to the tiered walls, Ledgestone was also used to create low retaining walls around an outdoor fireplace and kitchen area.
What does Cam Pringle think of the Redi-Rock walls now that they're complete? "I think they're great; I love them," he said.
Hessels echoed Pringle's opinion, saying: "It was the best mechanically stabilized wall for the project. From our perspective geotechnically, it's a very good wall."
Project: Vancouver Island Residence #138 Owner: The Pringle Family Block Manufacturer: ABC Precast Engineer: John Hessels of Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd. Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia Year Built: 2011