In the construction of the foundation platform for a luxury housing development in Elche (Alicante), Spain, several gravity retaining walls were required. The complex was built on elevated ground and the walls were needed to properly contain the structural fill on which the foundation would lean. Gabion walls from Maccaferri were selected.
The development, known as Ocean Sky, is located in a zone with challenging geotechnics. The area is characterized by sandstones and Miocene loamy limestones with good starting parameters in fresh rock but a tendency to be altered by silty sands that degrade easily. Occasionally, these materials are perched upon aquifers associated with these sandy facies, so stability verification calculations need to take this local risk into account.
The architects on the project, Chamizo Arquitectos S.L, contacted A.Bianchini Ingeniero for the geotechnical engineering design. The goal was a system that could accomplish two primary objectives: long-term structural stability and an aesthetic look for the residents.
GABION WALLS – STRENGTH & AESTHETICS
Gabion walls, utilizing double-twisted mesh (DT gabions®), could satisfy all geotechnical and architectural demands.
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The walls were executed with DT mesh 8×10-16 gabions that conform to the UNE EN 10223-3 standard. The maximum wall height was set at 6 m. In the gabion setback, planters were installed. With this combination of stone, steel, and vegetation, an essential geotechnical structure was given a welcomed, aesthetic face.
Gabion wall design was facilitated by Maccaferri’s GawacWin geotechnical calculation software and followed the requirements of the MOPU Works Manual. As such, the safety factors were required to be greater than 2 to safely manage the primary challenges (overturning, sliding, and global stability).
In total, 1200 m3 of DT 8×10 – 16 mesh gabions and 900 m2 of nonwoven geotextile MacTex N were installed by GRUPO OPM, OBRAS PÚBLICAS Y MUROS S.L.
ABOUT MACCAFERRI GABIONS
Maccferri utilizes high-quality steel in the manufacture of its gabion frames. The materials are produced in compliance with Construction Product Regulation (CPR) 305/2011 and have EC marking in compliance with ETA-09/0414. The management and production system is certified in compliance with ISO 9001 (related to the environmental management system).
Learn more about gabion wall design and affiliated geotechnical engineering and geosynthetic solutions at www.maccaferri.com.