BUILDING: Making Room For Shoprite Checkers
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE blossoming Shoprite Checkers is planning to add approximately 45 000sq m of new space in Cape Town allowing the consolidation of three existing leased centres, reducing costs and inefficiencies.
In May 2010, KLS Consulting Engineers, Martin & East as civil subcontractor to Stefanutti Stocks, approached Decorton and Terrafirma to help with the construction of a few level platforms at a sandy site on corner of Old Paarl and Kruispad, Brackenfell.
Says Karien Visser, engineer with KLS Consulting Engineers: “Due to the slope of the ground and the size of the platforms, natural cut/fill slopes were not possible. The objective was to allow Checkers Properties maximum space to enlarge the existing Freshmark Distribution Warehouse and build a new Flowthrough facility.”
Both retaining wall contractors proposed the Terraforce Retaining System, a cost effective earth retaining product that combines more advantages than other systems available. “The block is relatively light weight for transport, interlocks on a horizontal as well as vertical level, is reversible to display a smooth round face, smooth straight face or split straight face appearance, is fully plant supportive with an open horizontal surface structure, and has a closed vertical surface structure to prevent progressive erosion of compacted backfill. In addition, the wall inclination and curvature can be adapted at will to suit site conditions and blocks can be filled with soil, gravel or concrete as required by the design engineer,” says Paul Kennedy of Terrafirma.
By July 2010, 14 400 blocks had been installed on site, at an angle of 65°, placed on concrete foundations, and secured with geo-grid tie backs or concrete poured into blocks where needed.
Around the two high lying boundaries of the property, an open storm water channel had to be installed, using erosion control blocks that were re-used from a previous, now redundant, installation.
In addition it was essential to install sub-soil drains in the back-fill of the walls at foundation level with free-draining outlets at regular intervals.
To finish off the project and to soften the overall concrete feel, GBI Landscape Consultants specified that the blocks be filled with topsoil and planted.
Says Erwin Bartsch of GBI Landscape consultants: “Even at a 65° slope, pockets in the Terraforce were able to be planted – allowing multiple rows of plants to cascade down, playing down the strong vertical element with different textures and colours.”
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