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Maccaferri’s Terramesh system used for three MSE Walls being built at the Cornubia development area in Durban


Maccaferri Africa is also assisting both consultants and contractors with onsite problem-solving

In the Cornubia’s new development zone of Durban, three MSE walls are required to stabilize an area intended for the construction of a shopping mall. Maccaferri Africa was chosen to supply Terramesh systems as well as our know-how and onsite assistance.

As part of a development program in South Africa, the international banking group Investec decided to fund a large project, including the creation of a shopping mall primarily intended for the residents of Cornubia; a development area of about 1,200 hectares located in Durban.

For the development of the project, the civil engineering consultant SMEC South Africa approached Maccaferri Africa to assist with the design of three retaining walls, ranging from 3.5 to 9.5 meters above ground level. Accordingly, we proposed our Terramesh and Paragrid reinforced soil system , designed using the MacSTARS slope stability design software.

For those who do not already know, Maccaferri’s Terramesh consists of a combined gabion box-type facia element with an integral geogrid tail. This geogrid tail is placed within compacted layers of structural backfill soil, reinforcing it. In this project the Terramesh geogrid tail provided secondary reinforcement, and the ParaGrid polymer geogrids provided the primary soil reinforcement. The Terramesh unit is engineered from double twist steel wire mesh (8×10 Type) that serves the dual purpose of providing a connection for the facia and supplementing our ParaGrid geosynthetic soil reinforcement. These hybrid ‘Paramesh’ structures deliver more efficient structures, that are quicker to install than equivalent reinforced soil structures.

In this Mechanically Stabilized Earth project, carried out by contractors WBHO and Fountain Civil Engineering the Terramesh and ParaGrid solution was chosen for its unique combination of economy, structural capability, durability and aesthetics.

The MSE Wall design prepared by Maccaferri Africa was based on the loads, soil conditions, layout and heights. All information supplied was checked to comply with SANS 207 and COLTO requirements. In addition, we provided full technical support, by providing site inspections and reporting the onsite developments to the engineers in the form of site observations. At present, the construction of the walls is nearly completed.

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