At American Precast, we challenge ourselves to reach new heights. On this particular project, we took that challenge literally. In the newly developed area called Alves Ranch, we were commissioned to build a concrete wall around a new development – a 17 ft high wall. One of the tallest walls we have built thus far.
Alves Ranch was recently completed with 46 acres of housing and 12 acres of retail, commercial land. Although it was recently finished, the development has been in the plans of Pittsburg, CA since the 1980s. When we were approached to create a wall for this project, the wall would serve two purposes – to provide privacy and security for the residents and to serve as a retaining wall.
The client, the developer, needed a fencing option for the neighborhood that met all of their unique needs. Precast concrete was the clear winner.
Why Precast Concrete?
This client chose our precast concrete because it’s one of the more affordable fencing options, without looking like it was a budgeted project. Since the wall needed to be so high, precast concrete was the only way to maximize size and cut costs. Because it served as a retaining wall, it needed to be strong as well.
The client wanted to make the backyard space for homeowners as large as possible – the small footprint, flexible placement, and thin panels of precast concrete were key.
This precast concrete wall was designed to sit on top of a vast hillside. The wall is most visible from the highway down below. Our client wanted to duplicate a concrete masonry unit (CMU) wall, which is a wall built block by block with standard size rectangular concrete blocks.
We selected our BLOCKCRETE™ style wall to best mimic CMU while being cheaper and easier to install.
The engineering design for the wall was submitted to us by the client and was approved without many revisions by our in-house engineers. Fabrication of the precast concrete was done in our facility in El Monte with integral color for a smooth finish. After the precast concrete parts were completed, we safely delivered the materials onsite using around 18 full trucks.
Construction started after all the materials were delivered onsite. The project was completed in around eight months’ time. We used an eight-man crew for this project.
The wall was engineered to be about 3000 ft long and up to 17 tall. The footings went as deep as 15ft below ground. We were able to retain up to 6 ft high of dirt.
What Made This Project Special?
We really enjoyed working on this great project. It challenged us – as we said, this was one of the tallest walls we have built, but it turned out great in the end.
By building this wall at the top of a very large hillside and by using thinner precast concrete, we were able to save a lot of the property line. We took the wall almost to the edge of the property line. This leaves extra backyard and outdoor space for future homeowners.