AquaTerra User Guide


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Take a look at the most innovative retaining wall system ever! AquaTerra is a 100% synthetic retaining wall system.

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AquaTerra User Guide

  1. 1. Installation Tips and Guide. V 2.1 PATENTS PENDING Copyright 11/2007. Northstar Vinyl Products, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. IMP ORTA NT NOTI CE This Guide is purposely intended to be general in scope. It is meant to educate a sophisticated user and builder of retaining walls on the finer points of constructing a sheet pile retaining wall using the AquaTerra System which feature Northstar Synthetic Sheet Piling. This Guide does not contemplate every condition that may be encountered, but rather serves as a baseline for understanding the construction methodology. Inexperienced users are highly encouraged to gain a thorough understanding of soils and the backfill compaction process before attempting to build a retaining wall. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made herein to the suitability of this system or its individual components for your project. Always defer to the recommendations of the engineer of record, as this individual will have a more complete understanding of specific site conditions that may affect the application. Some of the techniques herein are considered the intellectual property of Northstar Vinyl Products, LLC and/or Tensar International Corporation and may not be duplicated. Northstar Vinyl Products, LLC and The Tensar International Corporation offer technical support and can also arrange to provide you with signed and sealed engineering drawings for your project. If you are interested in this support, please contact your Northstar or Tensar Representative. NOTE: One feature of the AquaTerra System is that Northstar’s sheet piling can either be driven into soil or set in a trench. This Guide instructs on methods using a trench. PHASES OF CONSTRUC TION Trenching • Setting Driving Guide • Preparing the AquaTerra GridSpines and Setting Sheet Piling • Preparing and Installing the Geogrid Reinforcements • Backfilling • Photo Gallery •
  3. 3. TRENCHING Using conventional trenching equipment and methods, prepared a trench at least 12” in width and to a depth required by the engineer. The wall line is along the front “finished” wall of the trench. When digging the trench, attempt to maintain grade. Check the grade. Use crusher run or other similar material to level the trench. Fig 1.1. The Battering Brace attaches quickly to the Outrigger. You are now ready to set Driving Guide into place. The driving guide is temporary and mobile. As you complete sections of the wall, you can move the guide to the next location. SETTING THE DRI VING GUIDE Northstar suggests that you have enough The installation of the driving guide is a driving guide on hand to build at least 100 very important step in the process of feet of driving guide at a time, as building installing an AquaTerra wall. Once it is in in 100-foot increments is an economical place, setting the panels is extremely practice. efficient. 1. Install the Uprights (3” steel pipes) Northstar has devised an innovative and on 12’ centers on the “finished” side of the proprietary method for installing the sheet trench wall. The placement of the uprights piling and maintaining a positive batter in should be approximately 10” from the the wall. Although many of the components trench wall and should be embedded 50% are available locally, if needed, Northstar deeper than the trench. Additional can supply the components of the driving embedment is required if the soil is weak. guide. The Driving Guide is made up of (Fig. 2) upright poles, Outriggers, Staging Arm, and Battering Braces. (Figs 1 and 1.1) Fig 1. The Outrigger Attachment and Upright Fig 2 Install Uprights forward of the trench wall. pole.
  4. 4. PREPARING T HE A QUATERR A 2. Attach the Staging Arm on the GRIDSPINE AN D SETTIN G THE SHEET Uprights. The Staging Arms are nothing PILING more than a beam where sheet piling “rest” after they are installed in the trench. While Sheet piling is a very popular construction the sheet pilings are in a temporary item in the marine and heavy construction position against the Staging Arms, they in a industries. Long sections of sheet piling are slight negative batter position. (Fig 3.) hoisted and set into driving position using cranes or long-reach excavators. Many landscape contractors who are accustomed to installing segmental block walls do not own or have access to this type of equipment and for this reason may be wary of installing long sections of sheet piling. The AquaTerra System was designed to alleviate the need for cranes and long-reach excavators. By design, sheet piling used in an AquaTerra wall are about 45% shorter than sheet piling that has to be driven in similar applications. This benefit alone reduces equipment requirements on a project. In addition, if you have a bucket lift, the Fig 3. Install the Staging Arms. AquaTerra system eliminates the need for having to lift the sheet piling above previously installed panels in order to 3. Install an Outrigger on each Upright. thread them together. Here’s how to An Outrigger has two components - an prepare the GridSpines and set the sheet Adjustment Arm (Fig 1) and a Batter Brace piling: (Fig 10). The Adjustment Arm allows you to set a predetermined batter in the sheet piling. The Batter Brace will hold the panels Preparing the GridSpines: in an unfettered battered position as you backfill the wall. (Fig 4) 1. Using a 1” drill bit, drill each GridSpine 1’ from each end. (Fig 5) Fig. 5 Drill GridSpines 1’ from each end. Fig 4. Install the Outriggers.
  5. 5. 6. Slide the composite rods through the adjacent GridSpines, locking all the Setting the Sheet Piling: panels together in one unit (Fig. 8) Using a Bucket Lift: 1. Place two sheet piles adjacent to one another in the trench and allow them to rest against the Staging Arm. (Fig 6) Fig 8. Insert composite rod through the upper and lower holes. 7. Repeat until you reach the end of your Driving Guide (Fig. 9) Fig 6. Align first two sheets against Staging Arm. 2. Insert an AquaTerra GridSpine, interlocking the two panels together. The GridSpine will slide easily down to the bottom of the trench. Fig 9. All sheets are in place and resting along the Staging Arm. Fig 7. Insert GridSpine to join panels. 3. Insert a composite rod into the lower and upper holes in the GridSpine. 4. Install the next pair of sheet piling in a similar manner. 5. Check to make sure the sheet piles are plumb and in alignment with each other.
  6. 6. 8. Determine the adjustment to be made to the Adjustment Arms on the Outriggers to attain the proper starting batter. Adjust the Batter Braces and tighten them to the Outrigger. (Figs 10 & 11). Fig 11. Sheet Piling is laid back against the Batter Braces. 10. In six to ten foot increments, fill the trench with stone, alternating the fill from back to front. Pay close attention to insure that the toe of the wall does not move Fig 10. Fix the Batter Brace to Outrigger based during this process. on predetermined batter. You are now ready to install the geogrid reinforcements. PREPARING A ND INSTALLI NG THE GEOGRID REIN FORCE ME NTS It is recommended that geogrid reinforcements be attached to the sheet pile wall using a Tensar Bodkin connection. A Bodkin connector (shown below) is a plastic strip that provides a mechanical connection to the sheet pile wall. Fig 11. Sheet piling is now ready to be placed in final position. 9. Once the Outriggers are in position and Batter Braces are fixed, carefully lean the sheet piling away from the Staging Arm towards’ the Batter Braces on the Outrigger. The entire unit of sheet piling should come to rest against the Batter Braces, in their batter position (Fig. 11). Begin by marking (with spray paint) a line across the backs of the sheet piling where each grid course is located.
  7. 7. Using a 1” drill bit, drill each GridSpine as and “rake” the soil towards’ the close to the spine’s “bulb” as possible. You ends of the reinforcements. may want to drill several grid course Once the soil backfill has been • locations at one time. placed, 12” of stone should be placed behind the wall to obtain needed compaction and adequate TIP: For a quick geogrid installation, you can drainage during heavy rain events. precut the geogrid sections and install the Bodkin connection, leaving a loop in the end Though distances between the grid • of the geogrid section. courses may be greater, backfill in uniform 1’ lifts. That section of grid can then be brought to Do not operate heavy compaction • the site, pushed against the sheet pile and equipment within three feet of the the connector rod slipped through the loop sheet piling. in the geogrid. Compact within three feet of the • Attach the geogrid sections to the wall on wall using handheld compaction the immediate “working” course. equipment. After each lift, inspect the battered • Using a pitchfork or other type of tool, position of the wall. Eventually, the tension the geogrid and apply approximately sheet piles should begin to move one yard of fill on the grid while it is away from the Batter Brace. You tensioned. You can then remove the should not see much movement pitchfork and repeat the process on the from backfilling the lower courses, adjacent geogrid section. but may see some movement as you approach the top elevation of Once all geogrid sections along the working the wall. course are in place, you can now begin After each lift, inspect the toe of the • backfilling. wall to insure it has not moved. If there is movement at the toe, • stop the process and contact your BAC KFILLI NG engineer for instructions. Obtaining the proper soil compaction is perhaps the most important aspect for successful retaining wall construction. If this is your first soil-reinforced wall, be sure to have expert advice and follow proper instructions and procedures. Because there is comprehensive data available from Tensar and other industry publications, a discussion on proper backfill techniques is not part of this Guide. However, because AquaTerra is a unique system, here are a few considerations: To insure proper tensioning in the • geogrid, always start the backfilling A 14’ wall using lightweight vinyl has zero process by placing the soil backfill 3 deflection after being backfilled with native feet from the back face of the wall Alabama clay.
  8. 8. GALLERY
  9. 9. For More Information Contact: Northstar Vinyl Products, LLC 770.794.1101 Tensar International Corporation 404.250.1290 COPYRIGHT 2007. Northstar Vinyl Products, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Tensar and Bodkin connectors are registered trademarks of Tensar International Corporation.