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Tensar Wall and Slope Technology Speeds Brownfield Housing Site Start


Tensar Technology is playing its part in the award winning transformation of a Brownfield site in County Durham.

250 new Yuill homes will soon stand on the former Elddis Caravan manufacturing and colliery site outside of Consett.

Tensar’s rapid, cost-effective and environmentally sound technology has facilitated progress of the ongoing £3 million project. As an essential partner in the early stages of the development, its ground stabilising slope, retaining wall and geogrid solutions helped establish a sound foundation for the development and secure Sunderland-based contractor, The Hellens Group, The CECA’s (Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association) North East Project of the Year 2006.

To provide enough space for the planned new builds, the developer needed to raise the ground level by 4 – 5 metres. Although timber cribs had originally been proposed, the client wished to retain a natural look in the countryside, so adopted a Tensar Steel Mesh Panel (SMP) steep slope system.

This enabled a fully vegetated 70° face to be created with huge cost savings, thanks to the use of site won soils instead of imported fill. An attractive Tensartech retaining wall to hide drainage inspection chambers at the end of the slope completed the project, and house building started early due to the speed of installation.

The natural beauty and outstanding views over the Derwent valley had persuaded Yuill Homes of Hartlepool to take advantage of Tensar Technology to create a green solution for the slope. The Tensar design and supply solution, with a 120 year design life, used galvanised SMP facings secured to uni-axial geogrids and enabled the contractors to build a 70° slope without difficulty. Site-won granular material was processed for backfill to layer with the geogrid, and thus made considerable cost, transport and environmental savings over imported material.

“As a group we pride ourselves on `improving the environment' in everything we do,” says Mark Short, Managing Director of Hellens Contracts and manager of the contract at Delves Lane. “As well as the obvious time and cost savings from a commercial point of view, the environmental benefits were an important factor in the specification of Tensar Technology solutions and our ‘green’ stance was one of the key criteria which helped secure the prestigious CECA award win.”

To prevent the fill escaping through the panel apertures, the contractor installed a Tensar geosynthetic face liner. Its open porous structure allows effective hydro seeding, yet retains the topsoil veneer and allows vegetation to grow through.

At the South West end of the green slope, the design had to accommodate two drainage inspection chambers which extended beyond the slope line. Tensartech TW1, an attractive modular block wall system, was used to surround these chambers, with lateral thrust relief stability provided by vertical SMP structures placed locally behind the chambers and wall face.

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