Certainly from since we have been in business, retaining walls were any one of three types—boulders, cut stones or concrete blocks in some form, with the vast majority made of stacked retaining wall blocks.
To be both affordable and versatile, retaining wall blocks have always been made of cast concrete. While this method allows the purchase of hundreds or thousands of blocks to remain relatively affordable, it comes at an aesthetic cost. Put simply, even the best looking retaining wall blocks have their cosmetic limitations in terms of shape, color and other architectural details.
With the increasing use of natural and cultured stone veneer as an exterior detail on homes and businesses, many people have sought a visual upgrade of their retaining walls, precisely to get away from the dry stacked block look. Belgard answered that challenge and in the process may also have reinvented the retaining wall in the process.
With Belgard’s Mega-Tandem wall unit system, the company has rethought how a “block” retaining wall should be built. The Mega-Tandem system is a veneer type product that is essentially two engineered blocks connected to each other by multiple polypropylene cross member struts. When each layer of the wall is assembled, the ensuing hollow space is filled with #57 gravel to provide both mass and water migration towards the integrated drains you emplace near the pad. The blocks interlock in all directions, with the pressure of the weight of the gravel keeping everything tight. Gravity walls up to ten feet high and retaining walls up to fifteen feet high can be created using this system. Better yet, the system is engineered to create either straight or curved walls that have an architectural beauty that cannot be matched by traditional retaining wall blocks.
How is it possible that stacks of relatively thin, paired concrete panels held together by plastic struts can build such solid retaining walls? There is no secret, just superior engineering. By creating the cast panels, complete with a series of backside cutouts that snugly fit the connectors to withstand 8,500 psi of compressibility, the resulting wall is not only incredibly ridgid, it is ideal for coping with the extreme freeze/thaw cycles we face in Colorado winters.
For more information regarding Belgard’s Mega-Tandem wall system contact ProCoat Systems, or come by and see us at either 4343 Holly St, Denver CO, 303-322-9009; or 825 S.W. Frontage Rd., Fort Collins, CO, 970-484-5557.