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Maccaferri Iberia used available onsite materials to fill reinforced soil wall structures


The Intermarche Support Wall project in Ericeira demonstrates how site-won soil can function as a backfill material for the 120 m long reinforcement wall

Maccaferri developed two retaining walls for an urban construction project in Ericeira. While the project is not in itself innovative, it demonstrates how soil gained from on-site excavation can be reused as backfill material for Terramesh/gabion support walls, thereby minimising the installation time, reducing the overall project cost and reducing the carbon footprint.

Gabion and Terramesh systems are delivered flat-packed and are assembled and filled on site. The backfill materials used can range from on-site rubble, to soils gained from excavation procedures, provided they meet the fill specification. It is precisely this aspect that makes Terramesh based reinforced soil retaining walls so attractive. By not having to import structural backfill material project costs can be reduced. One project in Ericeira aptly demonstrates this phenomenon.

The Intermarche reinforced wall project in Ericeira comprised the construction of two retaining walls.

One wall is made from the Maccaferri Terramesh System and is designed to support the the platform of an adjacent warehouse. The second wall is made of Gabions and functions as a support system for the platform of a factory that exists at a higher level.

Maccaferri developed this project with the main intention of re-using as much soil created by the excavation procedures as possible. The soils were used to backfill both Terramesh and gabion baskets and significantly helped to reduce the project cost. The design calculations for the walls were made using Maccaferri’s software, MacStars.

Multiple analyses were made to ensure the stability of the walls, focused on the internal and external stability of the walls. The Terramesh reinforced soil system was supplemented with the soil reinforcement geogrid MacGrid WG that is available with tensile strengths ranging from 80 kN / m to 150 kN / m. The highest section of the walls were 9m in height and the total length was around 120 meters.

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