The VSoL® retained earth system is a composite soil reinforcing system that uses welded wire mesh or polymeric strips to resist the horizontal forces generated within an earth backfill. A retained earth structure is a stable, unified gravity mass that can be designed for use in a wide range of civil engineering applications.
- VSoL® - Introduction
The VSoL® system is widely used and accepted as a major construction method in projects ranging from retaining walls to highway bridge abutments. In addition to its high performance level, the VSoL®system ensures economical design and construction. The system requires only three components: reinforcing elements, precast facing panels and backfill material. This simplicity results in easy and rapid construction.
Cost savings of up to 50% below those of traditional retaining wall systems are regularly achieved.
- VSoL® - Applications
VSL advises customers and their consulting engineers during the feasibility stages of projects, and prepares preliminary design and cost estimates, as well as detailed designs, drawings and specifications.
The company also assists contractors with the pricing of tenders, and provides quotations during tender stages. Execution of the on-site project can be tailored to suit the customers’ requirements, from a supply only arrangement to a full sub-contract agreement.
VSoL® system concrete facing panels are available in a wide range of shapes, textures and colours. Because local materials are used in the production of these precast panels, the visible exposed surface can easily be coloured to match the natural surroundings. Raised relief, sandblasted finish, exposed aggregate, and conventional smooth face concrete represent just a few of the available standard retained earth panel finishes. Other facing systems, such as modular blocks, and mesh are also available for both permanent and temporary structures
VSoL® walls, being internally stable reinforced soil structutres are more accommodating to settlement than most other forms of wall constuction.Through the use of flexible reinforcement connections and settlement tolerant facing details. VSoL® walls can accommodate larger construction and post construction settlements than conventional retaining wall methods. Hence VSoL® walls can be built on site with poorer foundation soils than conventional walls, without affecting the structural integrity and performance of the finished wall.
Due to cost effectivement of the system VSoL® walls are commonly used to replace other wall construction methods. Often proposed by VSL as design alternatives at time of tender, VSoL® walls are typically built as replacements for cantilever gabion and bord pile walls or viaduct structures. The design flexibility and structural performance of the VSoL® system also permits the removal of expensive foundation.
- VSoL® - Technology
The basic retained earth principle involves transferring stresses from the soil to the reinforcing elements.
In the case of welded wire mesh soil reinforcement, this is achieved by the development of passive resistance on the projected area of the mesh crossbars, which in turn transfers load into the longitudinal bars.
In the case of polymeric strip reinforcement, load transfer from the backfill is achieved by the frictional interaction of the soil particles with the polymeric reinforcing strip. Simple cost effective installation The simplicity of the installation method coupled with rapid reinforcement connections ensures cost effective wall installation.
VSoL® walls are easily constructed using a simply proven method:
1. Casting of the mass concrete levelling pad.
2. Erection and alignment of the first row of half and full height panels.
3. Installation of joint and drainage materials.
4. Fill placement and compaction up to the level of the first layer of reinforcement.
5. Installation of soil reinforcement and connection to facing panels.
6. Placing and compaction of additional layers of fill up to top of the half height panels.
7. Installation of the second row of panels.
8. Repeat steps 3-7 until full wall height is achieved.
9. Installation of copings and crash barriers at the top of the wall to suit project requirements.
Rapid installation: 10-25m2 per man per day. Depending on wall geometry and site conditions, wall construction is normally undertaken using a 4 man crew, a small crane or crane truck and conventional earthmoving/compaction plant.
Installation is normally undertaken entirely from the back of the wall, thus permitting easy construction on restricted sites. VSoL® design and supply package In support of the VSoL® system, VSL can provide full design calculations to suit local design standards. By the use of comprehensive software for wall design, drafting and project costing, VSL can provide rapid and cost effective design evaluations as part of its’ VSoL® supply package.
VSoL® system concrete facing panels are available in a wide range of shapes, textures and colours. Because local materials are used in the production of these precast panels, the visible exposed surface can easily be coloured to match the natural surroundings.
Raised relief, sandblasted finish, exposed aggregate, and conventional smooth face concrete represent just a few of the available standard retained earth panel finishes. Other facing systems, such as modular blocks, and mesh are also available for both permanent and temporary structures.