With many types of building solutions on the market, it could be difficult to know what option would suit your needs, whether you are building temporary storage or a retaining wall. In this blog we at PPC Concrete Products will be answering the question, ‘What is the best block to use for a retaining wall?’
Retaining walls are vital in order to organise land in order for development or to make it safer in a populated area, some people opt to use wood, or brick & mortar for their retaining walls whilst we present an alternative option in our interlocking concrete blocks.
With the necessity of time and cost-efficient building solutions being needed, as construction output in Great Britain has seen an increase, alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar builds are required for those looking to save time and money.
But first, let us explain a little bit more about retaining walls.
Explaining a retaining wall
A retaining wall is a structure designed to restrain land to a slope it would not naturally keep to. For example, a retaining wall could be built in order to organise a road by a small hill. Retaining walls are a way to organise land without having to totally alter the landscape.
The benefit of a retaining wall ranges from aesthetics to creating more space, to ensuring safety on a piece of land, generally with any building of a retaining wall, these three benefits should be the standard result you are left with.
What is the best block to use for a retaining wall?
A variety of blocks or gabion baskets can be used to secure a retaining wall. Though another viable and time-efficient method that can be used is interlocking concrete blocks.
If you want a simple and efficient method, Interlocking concrete blocks is the way to go. You do not need to fill a retaining wall when using our interlocking concrete blocks. Below, we explain the building of a retaining wall using our blocks.
Building a retaining wall with Interlocking Concrete Blocks
The first factor before building an interlocking retaining wall is determining the depth of the foundations otherwise known as the footings. If the soil is firm and well-drained, 300mm should be enough. Alternatively, if the soil is not as firm and unstable, 450mm would be suitable. (This will vary depending on the need for the foundation, size, project etc).
After the foundation has been measured, made and set, placement of the concrete blocks can take place to the desired height.
As there is no need for mortar or any binding facilitation, interlocking the blocks via stacking so their studs and recesses connect will be more than enough to guarantee a stable structure.
We understand retaining walls can come in different lengths, shapes sizes and for clients who have different needs. So to show you our abilities and expertise, we have a review for you to read that highlights and reviews a job we did for JO Transport.
Still not convinced with the effectiveness of our Interlocking concrete blocks? If so, here is a breakdown of our blocks to help you understand just how amazing they are.
What is an Interlocking concrete block?
As building regulations came into being in England, the requirements of having fire proof dwellings was compulsory, this was achieved by subsequent houses being made of stone and brick. Interlocking concrete blocks present a modern alternative.
Interlocking concrete blocks are a unique form of pre-cast concrete blocks that are designed to hold together by using pre-measured studs and recesses. Built with unique profiles and features, which allow them to fit perfectly into each other without the use of any mortar. Instead, the cementitious blocks simply snap together with each other.
Depending on the size of the block that is chosen will affect the number of studs that are on the block. In regards to the sizing, interlocking concrete blocks don’t need mortar to be held in place. This means the speed of building is improved, whilst using less manpower.
Other concrete providers may offer “concrete lego blocks” the differences between the two aside from their names are nominal. The functionality is the same, and the only variants will be the sizes, amount of studs/recesses or styles, such as the ‘rock face’ option we offer. Other suppliers may offer alternative styles and sizes than us and as a result, you may be paying a premium price for it.
The advantages of interlocking concrete blocks
- Longer lasting and more durable than a Gabion basket
- Quicker and less hassle to install
- No need for mortar, saving you money and time
- No need for steel reinforcement or shuttering
- Resistant to extreme weather conditions
- Fire resistant properties, mitigating the spread of fire depending on structure
- Little maintenance required
- Often, no foundation is needed before installing
- Sound resistant
- Ability to stack them upon each other
- Flexibility in sizes
- Appropriate for temporary and/or permanent buildings
- Unlikely to be displaced due to the interlocking function
- Can be moved with standard lifting equipment
What are interlocking concrete blocks used for?
As we at PPC Concrete products supply interlocking concrete blocks, we can share with you what they are used for.
- Material Storage bays
- Blast walls
- Salt stores
- Crash protection
- Flood protection
- Push walls
- Security barriers
- Segregation bays i.e recycling centres
- Retaining walls
- Industrial buildings
- Fire breaks
And much more.
Alternative concrete options
The way our blocks are made is by having a casting of the dimensions mentioned below and depending on the option chosen, the cast is then filled with concrete. Each block has a Lifting pin anchor system embedded in the concrete at the point of casting – this is how the blocks are moved once the concrete is set.
After setting, the cast is then removed and the blocks are transported to their destination.
we offer the option for your block to be:
- Standard Blocks
- Flat Top Standard Blocks
- Rock Face Block
- Rock Face Flat Top Block
To view what these options look like, take a look at our gallery.
Here are our size options:
- 300 x 600 x 600
- 600 x 600 x 600
- 900 x 600 x 600
- 1200 x 600 x 600
- 1500 x 600 x 600
- 1800 x 600 x 600
- 400 x 800 x 800
- 800 x 800 x 800
- 1200 x 800 x 800
- 1600 x 800 x 800
Half and thirds of the sizes displayed are also offered with your order if needed.
In regard to the weight of the blocks, it will vary from size to size, and from the concrete being used. But as an example, 1800 x 600 x 600 concrete block can weigh 1560KG, this can fluctuate as different types of concretes have different levels of density.
Although it is almost impossible to move these without heavy machinery, the weight of these blocks serves to reassure you of their stability.
Fork Lift Blocks
We also specialise in forklift blocks for those who don’t have access to telehandlers or other specialist equipment to transport and place their blocks. Ideal for Security barriers, traffic management, Blocking Entrances, test weights, and counterweights.
Another different type of interlocking concrete block is the jersey barrier.
Jersey Barrier Blocks
Our heavy-duty Jersey Barriers interlocking blocks easily lock in to place next to one another making the creation of barriers a breeze. Whether it’s a barrier for a construction site or much more Jersey barrier blocks are the solution.
The cost of manufacturing Jersey Barriers is very cost-effective and due to their interlocking system, our barriers can be easily picked up and used elsewhere saving money through repurposing.
Our Jersey Barriers are heavy-duty interlocking blocks that provide the ultimate anti-vehicle perimeter protection. site security, edge protection and temporary works.
Easy to Install
Due to the simple interlocking system, our Jersey Barriers easily lock in to place next to one another making the creation of barriers a breeze.
Longer lasting more durable
All our concrete Jersey Barriers are made on-site using our own moulds from locally sourced raw materials.
Contact PPC for your Interlocking concrete blocks today
In this article, we hope to have answered the question ‘What is the best block to use for a retaining wall?’ Whilst also providing extra information in regard to construction and the benefits of interlocking concrete blocks.
Take a read of our case studies to truly understand how we have provided solutions for business in the past with the use of our interlocking concrete blocks, and ultimately, how we can help you today.
Read our blog page for more insights into our passion, construction.
The Old Gasworks,