Moving mountains with Terraforce at Somerset College

08 July 2019

For South African educational campuses, sports facilities are always a top priority, and when Somerset College, one of the co-educational private schools in South Africa, was faced with a large, steep hill standing in the way of expanding their existing sports campus, major earth moving was unavoidable. 

Faced with exposed cut and fill slopes, main contractor on site, Poplar Trading, needed a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing way to retain these – up to five metres high –embankments.  

Says Keon Marais, Poplar Trading: “We needed to create space on a massive slope for two new rugby fields, two cricket ovals and a hockey field. To achieve this, we moved 80 000 m² of earth and placed 55 000 m² of drainage. Loxton Irrigation placed over 50 000 m irrigation, while Vredenburg Lawns and another company, Yokwana Contracting, installed 55 000 m² of lawn.  In addition, we also installed some gabions and Terraforce 4×4 Step block seating adjacent to the hockey field” 

Sub-Contractor Decorton Retaining Systems were called in as expert installers for the Terraforce walls needed on site, specifically to build a retaining wall with staircases and wheelchair ramps for student access, as well as additional space for an entry road and pavilion above the AstroTurf sport field. SP van Blerk, Decorton, says installation went according to plan: “Icos Engineering submitted a great design that specified the necessary reinforcing to match wall height, soil and surcharge conditions.” 

The earth moving and walls were completed February this year, however some landscaping still needs to be completed to showcase the end result to full effect. 

Project participants 

Engineer: Icos Engineering 

Quantity Surveyor: QS Bureau 

Main Contractor: Poplar Trading 

Sub-Contractor: Decorton Retaining Systems Pty Ltd 

More information from Terraforce, Tel: +27(0)21 4641907 / email: [email protected] / 

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