Redi-Rock optimizes block design for taller, tighter footprint walls

The Redi-Rock retaining wall system is moving up with the release of XL Hollow-Core blocks, designed at 36 in. high—twice standard units’ height—in 52-, 72- or 96-in. widths. “This is the most significant innovation we’ve made to the system since the release of the Positive Connection blocks in 2011,” says Redi-Rock International President Jacob Manthei.

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When conditions along a John C. Tune Airport hangar complicated plans for a retaining wall of standard units, licensee Redi-Rock of K.I.T. proposed an XL block solution to the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. Engineer JC Hines & Associates reached a maximum height of 25.5 feet using 806 36-in. high XL units of various widths, transitioning to 173 standard 18-in. Redi-Rock block along the top. The installation spans 10,200 sq. ft. of Ledgestone texture.

Redi-Rock XL precast modular blocks help build taller walls in tight spaces while using less concrete, he adds, and are compatible with all other components in a system often compared to giant, concrete Lego blocks with natural stone textures. As communities look to retaining walls to create more buildable space, Redi-Rock XL will help decrease the footprint needed for tall walls.

“The new XL blocks at up to eight-feet wide allow for taller gravity walls than ever and are especially useful in applications where you’ve got limited room,” notes Redi-Rock Director of Engineering Jamie Johnson, P.E. “With the addition of XL into the system, engineers can solve more problems with Redi-Rock. Whether you’re designing for tall gravity walls, for heavy live loads with a mechanically stabilized earth wall using the Positive Connection blocks, or for the benefits of a large batter wall, Redi-Rock has solutions for just about every application.”

Beyond the potential for taller walls, he adds, integrating XL blocks into a retaining wall design offers such benefits as a) streamlining installation with twice as much face coverage for each machine-set unit; shipping cost savings due to hollow-core design; and, wall optimization through mixing and matching XL and standard blocks as conditions allow. Accompanying the XL block launch is a wealth of engineering and installation resources: preliminary height guides, software updates to both the professional and freeware versions, plus construction details. Redi-Rock International, Petoskey, Mich., 866/222-8400;