The Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) is holding two half-day afternoon seminars for engineers and contractors on the design, construction and reinforcing of concrete retaining block (CRB) walls during 2011.
The first will be held on 17 August in Durban and the second will take place on 12 October in Cape Town.
CMA director, Hamish Laing, says the seminars are also focusing proper procedures which begin with a detailed bill of quantities.
"Poorly constructed walls can and do collapse, endangering human life and causing damage to property worth R-millions. There are several factors which can trigger the collapse of a poorly constructed CRB wall. Many walls are inadequately specified from the outset, and this leads to poor construction and corner cutting. All it takes is one bout of unusually heavy rainfall or soft soaking rain for several days in a row to cause wall failure," says Laing.
Pictured here at last year's Midrand seminar are the members of the CMA's CRB seminar presentation team: Silvio Ferraris, CEO of ReMaCon, CMA president and vice president of the CMA's CRB Division; Alan Parrock (left) a partner of ARQ Consulting; Garth James, marketing director of Kaytech; Linda Dobie, managing director of Friction Retaining System (FRS); and Hamish Laing, CMA director.
Silvio Ferraris, CMA president and vice president of the CMA's CRB Division, says that the role of geofabrics in the successful design and construction of CRB walls is being covered extensively during the seminars.
"Substantial improvements have been made to geofabrics, for instance today's materials are much stronger. In the past certain fabrics were prone to stretching and creep and this is why walls design slopes and heights were restricted.
"One of the results of this advance is that CRB walls are getting much steeper, so much so, that they are being built at angles which would have been considered off limits 15 years ago. Geofabrics need to be understood and correctly specified especially with walls that are near vertical. One wants to avoid over-stressing the fabric or else there is a danger that the wall could go beyond 90º," advises Ferraris.
First introduced in 2006, the seminars have proven to be a huge success. In addition to Ferraris, they are being presented by well known CRB experts, Alan Parrock , Garth James, Marco Pauselli and Linda Dobie
Parrock is a partner of a leading geotechnical engineering consultants ARQ. James is a geologist and marketing director at Kaytech, a leading supplier of geosynthetic reinforcing material. Pauselli is a consulting engineer specialising in slope stability and retaining walls. Dobie is managing director of FRS, a specialist CRB walling contractor. Besides his CMA presidency roles
Ferraris is CEO of CRB block manufacturer, ReMaCon; he also designs retaining block wall structures
The seminars are registered with SAICE (South African Institution of Civil Engineering) and participants will qualify for 0.5 CPD points. There is a nominal charge of R200 and anyone wishing to attend can register on the web via http://www.scereg.co.za/CMA/reg.htm.
Alternatively contact Pam Zukor at the CMA on 011-805-6742 or email@example.com.