Practical and environmentally friendly


Each AB Fieldstone concrete block has two interlocking pieces: a textured and/or colored facing unit that can be imprinted in one of two patterns, and an anchor block made of recycled concrete.

The corners of the block's face are finished so customers don't have to order special corner blocks. The anchors fit all Allan Block Corp. facing-unit shapes and sizes and are available in 13- and 23-inch styles.

With a depth of approximately 2 feet, the longer anchors allow for taller gravity walls (i.e., those that don't require geogrid reinforcement) than are usually possible with segmental wall systems — an attractive option for project locations that don't have room for excavation and geogrid placement.

In Springfield, Mass., state DOT engineers faced just such a predicament this year. As part of a $1.4 million streetscape improvement project involving concrete flatwork, brick paver areas, plantings, and imprint crosswalks, the city planned to build eight “gateway walls” at major intersections.

Originally, the retaining walls were to be cast-in-place concrete. But it quickly became apparent that all the utilities — gas, electric, telephone, cable, and the city's primary water main — buried beneath the jobsite would make excavating footings nearly impossible. Upon the recommendation of project engineers and the contractor, the city invested an additional $120,000 on the less intrusive AB Fieldstone alternative.

Installation went smoothly and the project was completed this spring.

Product: AB Fieldstone
Manufacturer: Allan Block Corp.
Headquarters: Edina, Minn.