South African manufacturer, Terraforce, has become a hallmark brand in the highly competitive precast concrete hollow-core retaining block field.

Over the years, Terraforce established a library of technical manuals for use by the industry, like the well-known Terraforce Design Guide for segmental retaining walls. The 2022 edition was developed with the participation of professionals in three countries in accordance with BS 8006 and SANS 207:2011.

“We have always prided ourselves on innovation, and the Terraforce Book of Ideas illustrates this with real-world examples that optimise function and form to perfection,” says Holger Rust, the head and founder of Terraforce.

Inspiring illustrations

The manufacturer’s latest initiative, the Terraforce Book of Ideas, showcases creative ways to install aesthetically appealing structures ranging from beach erosion works to culverts and bridges, staircases, pedestrian ramps, sportsground seating and amphitheatres. The insights shared feature South African as well as international projects.

“The key ingredient is that the Book of Ideas is highly visual and will appeal to technical and non-technical readers alike looking for inspiration,” Rust explains.

Eight fascinating chapters

The Terraforce Book of Ideas has eight chapters which give technical information as well as case studies.

“Chapter 1: Patterns and plantability” deals with how Terraforce’s various systems can be formed. Examples include the use of round and flat-face block combinations, plant-box variations in sloping and horizontal patterns, plus drip-irrigation lines to sustain vegetation.

“Chapter 2: Features and inclinations” considers more in-depth design options, starting with foundation detailing and wall angles, and demonstrates the possibilities in terms of varying inclinations and curves.

“Chapter 3: Corners” focusses on corner detail options, including multiple sharp corners, round and V-shaped corners, as an integral part of most structures.

“Chapter 4: Steps and stairs” opens with a practical guide on how to employ the company’s system and explores design alternatives for retaining walls incorporating staircases, to form straightforward and intricate systems.

“Chapter 5: Seating” covers both steps and seating, with examples of arenas and amphitheatres designed and built for schools, communities and businesses. A detailed breakdown is provided on installation techniques, as well as technical drawings of local and international projects.

“Chapter 6: Contractor’s checklist” provides a comprehensive series of processes and procedures to ensure safe retaining wall structures. Three crucial categories are addressed: retaining wall design; construction; and monitoring, maintenance and restrictions.

“Chapter 7: Typical cross-sections and designs” contains examples of typical cross-sections for retaining applications and underscores the level of engineering details required for more complex designs.

“Chapter 8: DWG file index” is a list of technical drawings included in the book, which are available on request as AutoCAD DWG data files.

Innovation and quality

“Working with our licensees and the broader consulting engineering and specialist contracting community, we continue to push the boundaries of possibilities,” Rust concludes.

To download the latest version of the Terraforce Book of Ideas visit

For more information, contact Terraforce:
Tel: +27 21 465 1907

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