The Other Side of Verti-Block

Earning Extra Credit

The Kingstec Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College got some extra credit last year with the addition of a new Verti-BlockTM retaining wall.  The college had an existing segmental block wall in the middle of campus that was beginning to fail.  With traffic and salt exposure the ailing CMU wall was deteriorating sooner than expected.  The design team decided the most appropriate replacement would be a wet cast big block — strong enough to handle the load, attractive enough to enhance the campus.

“The Verti-Block system was easily the best solution here,” said Gordon Graham, President of G. Graham Landscape Construction, Inc.  “We’ve installed these units before.  I’ve never seen a block system go in so fast”  But with a college known for its Landscape Architecture programs, speed and utility weren’t the only things to consider.  It was important to replace the old wall with minimal disruption to the students and faculty.  However, the impression the new wall will have on the face of the school will last for decades.

Canyon Ledge Texture

Verti-Block’s Canyon Ledge texture made the grade.  “The wall is simply beautiful,” said Bonnie Levy, an instructor in Kingstec’s LA Department.  “The detail in the texture is just amazing.  We’re really thrilled with it.  It has a sort of visual weight to it that lets you know it’s durable.  And the lines curve so smoothly that the wall doesn’t overpower the space.”

The 3,000 square foot project included almost 1,200 square feet of double sided wall blocks.  Much of the wall had parking and roadway along one side of it so the retaining wall required a matching parapet section the entire length.  Verti-Block’s new 2 and 3 sided block series with 6″ cap were the perfect fit.  “Verti-Crete helped us design an impact protection system that tied the whole wall together,” said Tom Rice of VJ Rice Concrete (Verti-BlockTM Licensed Producer in Nova Scotia)  “We then worked with a local engineer to make sure the top courses that were exposed to traffic could withstand all the forces necessary to meet the specification and keep people safe.”

A Fast & Predictable Installation

“The fluidity of Verti-Block’s design really impressed me,” said Graham.  “The main block’s lighter weight and tapered sides made them easy to handle.  But we expected to slow down when we got to the double sided courses.  That didn’t happen.  The two sided blocks were easy to adjust and followed the curves easily.”

The project turned out beautifully and within budget, in large part to do the collaborative effort between the college, designers, contractor, supplier and engineer.