Eco-friendly Dune rehabilitation

by Ofentse Sefolo
Eco-friendly Dune rehabilitation

Nhoxani Beach, meaning Peaceful Place, is a prime waterfront private housing estate, situated on the magnificent Santa Maria peninsula on the bay of Maputo in Mozambique. The development includes seven sites near the waterfront, consisting of approximately 430m of indigenous coastal forest and bush.

One waterside site needed urgent erosion control to prevent further wind and water damage as the local sand contains large quantities of silicone. The erosion had been aggravated by local fishermen and boat skippers.

Preserving local forest
Online research led developer and shareholder in Nhoxani, Mike Braby, to Terraforce for a viable solution. He contacted the team at Terraforce for consultation and advice on the site’s erosion control challenges and the project was set in motion.

In October 2016, the blocks were trucked – from EFS Construction, a Terraforce licensed manufacturer based in Mbabane, Eswatini – to Maputo. The blocks were then shipped with dhows (a local boat used for fishing) to Santa Maria under the watchful eye of Terraforce’s recommended contractor, Ben van Schalkwyk of BRW Projects. He was responsible for the design and supervised the installation of the Terraforce wall.

Solutions to challenges
As van Schalkwyk explains, installation was no easy feat: “The wall itself covers 400m² and is designed with four three-meter-high interconnecting terraces, the highest point reaching 12.4m. Getting the concrete foundations placed (each terrace having its own) proved challenging as the dune bank was constantly collapsing.

“An Agri drain was placed behind the wall to prevent water build-up that could cause future damage. We also placed Bidim behind the wall, as well as cement stabilised backfill – all the way to the top – to provide extra stability.”

After completion, the Terraforce retaining wall was painstakingly planted with indigenous vegetation by local labour.

Great results and a happy client
Braby notes that the overall result exceeded his expectations: “The retaining wall design in consultation with engineers and environmentalists created an excellent solution, whilst also establishing a building footprint big enough for a medium size house.”

The building technology of the house, with robust stilted gum pole foundations, allowed for elevated floors with stunning views. The outcome was only possible thanks to the Terraforce block that ensured sustainability of the dune.

For more information, contact Terraforce:
Tel: +27 21 465 1907
Website: www.terraforce.co.za

Images courtesy of Karin Braby Photography

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