“We also got a soils report from a geotechnical engineer who identified soil types and conditions,” Paulson says. “Then, based on all that, we use a standard design procedure from the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA). It was a relatively straightforward process.”

Flanagan says negotiations between Piedmont and the developer took about 10 days, and in the end the cost-savings of using a precast block system was only part of the issue.

Clair Rose (30)-1Click photo to enlarge“The other option he was looking at was more-expensive,” Flanagan says. “But, he also wanted the right solution. Once we were released to design, we had final engineering plans in his hands within a week-and-a-half.”

MSE started installing the project approximately 45 days after the drawings were completed, a schedule dictated by timing issues with other subcontractors at the site. Flanagan says that, from his standpoint, it wasn’t exactly a typical job.

“We had sufficient stock before we began and our initial estimate was for about 5,500 ft²,” he says. “But, after it started, the developer’s vision changed in what he wanted. That’s when the two swales in the front wall came about. It started as a straight wall, but he had the idea of the two swales with gun turrets to give it that castle appearance.

“If he would have poured the wall in concrete, he wouldn’t have been able to make any of the changes he wanted to, especially on the fly in real time.”

Flanagan adds that the job required every block in the Redi-Rock product arsenal, from 28”-60” in depth, and weighing anywhere from 1,400 lbs-3,500 lbs. A six-man crew did the installation in 45 days, although Webb notes that the drought situation in the Atlanta area two years ago helped reduce construction times for large parts of the job.

Engineer Paulson says his presence on the site was minimal.

“I visited the project on several occasions, but the contractor’s foreman and the project superintendent were onsite the whole time, and they had a geotechnical firm that did testing and inspections during the construction, and that’s always good to have,” he says.

And, Flanagan notes that using large blocks on a reinforced wall requires less geogrid.

Webb says he was so pleased with the appearance of the wall in the front of the property that he expanded his use of Redi-Rock for the project.

“I was not going to use it in the rear of the home,” Webb says. “I had a steep bank at the rear of the home, and I said, ‘Let’s put in a wall and integrate a waterfall into it.’ We were able to cut it into different levels and I was able to utilize more of the space back there.