Why did I run across Tennessee? (twice)

Posted in: CONTACT US

314 miles.

100 degrees Fahrenheit.

 Outrageous humidity.

Steep mountains.

Trucks roaring by.

 Feet pounding the hot asphalt for more than a week.

 Why would anyone want to run all the way across Tennessee in July?!?

TO SUPPORT:

www.afsp.org

Boston Strong

TAKE SOME TIME TO LEARN ABOUT, AND DONATE TO, THESE WONDERFUL ORGANIZATIONS!

VOL STATE RUN ACROSS TENNESSEE INFO HERE

Joseph Kowalski, P.E.

www.RetainingWallExpert.com

Current State PE Registrations


SmartSlope

Posted in: SmartSlope
SmartSlope Living Wall

Every once in a while, a truly fantastic product comes along.  SmartSlope is one of those products!  The benefits include: excellent block dimension tolerance, a 100% mechanical connection to the reinforcement, a huge pocket for holding soils, the ability to batter at 20 degrees or flatter, and the ability to install drip irrigation lines directly into the block!

Here's a video about the system:



So, we are talking about the Living Wall: the most environment-friendly block on the market and the only block with a true 100% mechanical, verifiable connection.

For more info see SmartSlope.com

Retaining Walls: What is Global Stability?

Posted in: ENGINEERING-DESIGN
Global Stability is the stability of the hillside ABOVE and BELOW a retaining wall.  By it's very existence, a retaining wall changes the shape of a hillside.  These changes should be addressed by the Engineer and Contractor to determine if the hillside is stable.  Take a look at these sketches, photos and video:

11021Artman-11_1.jpg
  
11021Artman-12_1.jpg


11021Artman-14_1.jpg


11021Artman-05_1.jpg
 
11021Artman-07_1.jpg





Retaining Wall Failure and Rebuild 6041

Posted in: Wall Failures
retainingwallfailure-6041-67.jpg
Retaining Wall Failure: upper portion collapsed
When this 38-foot high retaining wall failed, Kowalski Engineering was retained to help.  Our services included determining what caused the failure, redesigning the new retaining wall, and reviewing the new wall's construction.

Many of the retaining wall blocks were reused on the project - demonstrating that these blocks are extremely durable, even after being dislodged from such a height.  You see, the large and durable block facing was not the problem.

retainingwallfailure-6041-66.jpg
Retaining Wall Failure: upper portion collapsed
The problems were: the type of soil used during construction, the spacing of the geogrids, and (you guessed it) water.  Remember this recipe for failure: "Just Add Water".

Good design and good construction will account for the "added water" and a retaining wall will be quite stable.  We engineered the new retaining wall and reviewed its construction.
retainingwallrebuild-6041-26.jpg
Retaining Wall Rebuilt


SEE OUR INTERACTIVE PROJECT LOCATION MAP:


View Retaining Wall Expert Projects Map in a larger map

Failing Retaining Wall Pushing Building

Posted in: Wall Failures
In Cincinnati, Ohio we have our fair share of retaining wall failures: due to poor construction, poor design, or sometimes just age!  In this case, a number of factors contribute to a failing retaining wall that is literally shoving a building sideways!

photo10013-1.jpg
Photo of failing old stone retaining wall pushing building sideways!
At this location, a natural stone retaining wall was constructed outside an apartment building.  The foundation walls of the apartment building and this stone retaining wall are supporting the land adjacent to them.

photo10013-20.jpg
However, at some point in the past another retaining wall was added above!  This additional retaining wall was constructed just a few feet away from the apartment building.  The nearby wall is about 6 feet high, and adds a huge amount of loading to the basement/foundation wall and to the natural stone wall.

The basement wall is being held in place at the front of the building and at the middle of the building, because there are walls at a 90-degree angle to the basement wall.  Those walls are supporting the basement wall.

photo10013-15_1.jpg
However, at the rear, where there are openings for the garage doors, there is little support.  The top of the garage doors has been shifted a few INCHES sideways, and the back wall of the apartment building is bulging outward.  Even the old stone wall is being pushed outward.

The owner is currently exploring options for repair!
photo10013-14_1.jpg