Officine Maccaferri


Creating customized solutions: Macwall System for landscape architecture


Using modern technologies, Maccaferri uses the Macwall System to outline landscapes while preserving their natural beauty.

The uneven land is naturally unique. All that is necessary is for the landscape outlines to be reinforced properly. This process has become surprisingly easy to implement as a result of modern technologies. The key to surface strengthening is the construction of retaining walls. One of the most innovative technologies in soil stabilization is Maccaferri’s MacWall solution. Along with its aesthetic function, this system provides:

  • convenient zoning of steeping or otherwise uneven land
  • reinforcement of unstable slopes
  • protection from dangerous landslide processes. Durable, high-quality construction makes it possible to create exclusive beautifully curved and free-formed structures that perfectly match the surrounding landscape.

So what is this system like? Macwall is a reinforced soil retaining wall system with a concrete block fascia. Also known as a Mechanically Stabilised Earth Wall (MSEW), the Geogrids, MacGrid and ParaGrid are used to structurally reinforce the backfill soil, absorb soil stresses that may deform or destroy the retaining structure if it is not reinforced. The MacWall fascia blocks for the external face of the reinforced soil structure are made from vibrated pressed concrete and feature cavities which are filled with crushed stone. They also feature holes for glass fiber connecting pins which accurately position the blocks within the wall. The blocks require no mortar between them.

Structures made from Macwall blocks can be more than 20 meters high. When the retained height of the soil is up to (approximately) 1 m high, the system can behave like a simple mass gravity retaining wall and no geogrid is required; the weight of the concrete blocks is sufficient to retain this height of material. Above this height, and to construct medium-high and high retaining walls, a project design and calculations are required. However, the assembly of such walls does not need a qualified workforce and heavy vehicles. These structures can be constructed in limited spaces and even at sub-zero temperatures (because no mortar is used). Generally speaking, the structures function in most geological and geophysical conditions.

The assemblies are durable and have a high load-bearing capacity, with the construction period being almost three times shorter in comparison with the assembly of conventional armored concrete structures.

The system’s versatility allows individual designer solutions: facing blocks come in different colors and can have several types of front faces; it is possible to arrange arches, turns, steps, fences, terraces, and plant walls.

Apart from mentioned advantages, Macwall system structures are 15% cheaper than retaining walls made up of reinforced concrete.

Maccaferri's engineering professionals provide project support and can make calculations using specialized Maccaferri’s MacStars W software to check the internal and overall stability of a structure. The software takes seismic load into consideration. Moreover, the software helps select the most suitable, technically and economically sound, design concept.

For more information, please contact us.

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