Officine Maccaferri


Reinforced soil retaining wall in Vancouver Island

Reinforced soil

Vancouver Island is one of the most seismically active regions in Canada area in British Columbia

The purpose of the reinforced soil structure was to accommodate site grading and allow for the retention of the walking trail, while at the same time acting to seismically isolate the building foundations.

The area has potential earthquake risk and the project structural engineer wanted an earth retaining structure, not the building foundation, to carry the seismic loads.
Maccaferri proposed a near vertical Terrawall System which extended from the bottom of the parking garage to the grade at which the buried structure day-lighted.

A patio served as the roof of the parking structure and from this level, a sloped Green Terramesh (70° from horizontal) was proposed in order to make the landscaped are feel less enclosed.

The Terrawall and Green Terramesh Systems use double twisted woven wire mesh to form individual units that act as both facing and soil reinforcing elements. Given the height and seismic loads for this project, high strength MacGrid and ParaGrids were used as the primary soil reinforcement with the Terrawall and Green Terramesh acting as facing units.

Although normally built using a thin veneer of stone facing, it was decided to use a non-woven geotextile as the facing for the Terrawall since the facing would eventually be shielded from UV exposure.

Due to the complexity of the project, Maccaferri provided extensive on site assistance in order to train the Contractor’s crew in the correct installation procedures of the different systems.

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