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Fast Retaining Wall Installation For Office

Redi-Rock installation meets critical schedule, allows development to open 10 days ahead of schedule

THE CHALLENGE

In the spring of 2012, the Gateway Building had been sitting vacant for five years. This building sat at a major entryway into Lexington, Kentucky. With such a prominent location, the city wanted to get this building fixed up, in use, and looking nice to represent their city. Ron Turner of Turner Development saw potential in the two-story 33,000 square foot (3066 square meter) building, and had the drive to take on this project. He bought the building in June of 2012 and wanted to get this project completed by September 1 of that same year.

This two-story building had some major slopes on either side. There was a sizable cut - up to 30 ft. (9.1 meters) on one side - to get down to the building's entrance level. Turner explained, "To continue the project, I needed to put up retaining walls quickly; something that would hold and not give me problems 5 or 10 years from now."

Turner had a very critical time frame if he was going to reach his goal of preparing this building for tenants before fall. "I looked around for a company to put in the retaining walls in a very reasonable time and at a fairly reasonable price. The price was important, but it wasn't as important as getting the retaining walls in and finished on time," said Turner. 

The developer chose Redi-Rock Ledgestone texture to complement the architectural details of the office building and to blend seamlessly with the landscaping.

THE SOLUTION

When Turner saw another Redi-Rock wall in Lexington, he knew it was what he wanted. Turner explained, "You could tell it was just not a generic product. I looked at this project over there, and looked at how the stones went together and how they set in each other like a puzzle. And I said, 'wow this is want I want - what I need to go with.'"

Choosing Redi-Rock offered several benefits to the project, including:

  • Gravity construction: The Redi-Rock gravity system utilizes massive, one-ton blocks to build tall walls that often require no geosynthetic reinforcement. "We didn't have very much room along one side of the building," explained Lance Paradis, PE of Engineered Earth Solutions. "We needed to keep it as a gravity structure because there wasn't room for traditional tie-backs. This made it possible to limit the excavation, which was kind of a big deal here."

  • The ability to build close to the property line: The Redi-Rock gravity solution allows properties to maximize usable space by building walls much closer to property lines than small block systems. Paradis said, "Redi-Rock was the ideal solution for this scenario. It provided the functionality we needed, because we were up against that property line. It also provided the look that we were trying to achieve."

  • Superior Aesthetics: The aesthetics of the retaining wall were important to Turner because he had renovated the building with architectural finishes and wanted the walls to match. Turner decided to use Redi-Rock Ledgestone texture blocks to provide a more natural look to blend in better with the landscaping. "These walls just added so much more value to the building," said Turner.

  • Fast installation: On Wednesday, August 8 Turner called Phil Fassler, Sales Director of local Redi-Rock manufacturer, Redi-Rock of Kentuckiana. Fassler met with Turner the next morning and sent Turner preliminary numbers and the preliminary wall design that afternoon. The very next day, Turner signed the contract so that Redi-Rock could get started Monday morning.

    Over the weekend, excavation and design work were completed. Paradis drew up the design for the project, while Lecno Excavating prepared the site for installation. Monday morning, Paradis delivered the design, and Turner secured immediate approval from the city.

    Redi-Rock of Kentuckiana arrived at the site the morning of Monday, August 13 with its five-member crew and semis full of blocks. Using a skid steer, track hoe, and rock slinger, the crew started installing blocks on Monday morning. Less than 48 hours later, the entire project was complete. The crew had installed 245 blocks for these walls by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14; one wall was 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall and the other 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) tall, totaling just under 1,400 square feet (130 square meters).

    Turner noted, "They finished exactly the time they said they'd finish it. Got in, got out, no problems. I was extremely impressed, and I'm very hard to please."

These Redi-Rock walls were completed within 48 hours, which allowed the office renovations to be completed ahead of schedule.

THE OUTCOME

"I could not have chosen a better contractor. It was a fast, hard job, but it allowed me to pick up production on my building about 10 days early. Which means a lot of money," said Turner.

Turner continued, "The performance was excellent. I could not be any more pleased with this project. If I had another job to do, which I probably will, there is no doubt that I will use Redi-Rock. No doubt."

The developer was so happy with the look of the Ledgestone walls, he plans on using Redi-Rock again on upcoming projects.

Project: The Gateway Building #154 Engineer: Lance Paradis, P.E. of Engineered Earth Solutions Owner: Ron Turner of Turner Development Manufacturer: Redi-Rock of Kentuckiana Installer: Redi-Rock of Kentuckiana Location: Lexington, Kentucky Year Built: 2012

Products Featured in This Case Study:

Gravity Retaining Wall Blocks - Massive, one-ton Redi-Rock gravity blocks rely on the sheer mass of each block to hold back the earth.

Ledgestone Texture Blocks - Redi-Rock Ledgestone blocks give projects a random, stacked stone look.

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