Hi all. I'm using versawall blocks to replace an L-shaped retaining wall in the backyard (800mm high). The new retaining wall will (eventually) frame two sides of a rectangle inground pool. The longer side will have a boundary fence behind the retaining wall, so won't need any pool fencing, but on the shorter side, it would be extremely convenient and far more attractive if I could anchor the frameless (or framed if necessary) glass pool fence panels on top of the retaining wall.
This will obviously put more load on the retaining wall and require some additional engineering, so my question is this...
When installing the retaining wall, can I do something to improve the stability of the retaining wall where the pool fencing will be installed?
For example, should I add concrete footings under the wall where necessary with extra-long posts that fit vertically through the wall and form the frame for the glass panels? Can I use a No Fines Concrete method behind the wall to make it strong enough to anchor frameless glass panels directly?
Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @K-Tower. It's brilliant to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about using Versawall retaining blocks.
It's always best to start these types of projects by contacting your local council or building authority for information. Even though engineering might not be required for an 800mm wall, council approval could be. That's why it's best to start with the council, as compliance with regulations is a concern with this project. You can then follow all their requirements from the get-go.
I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say the wall will "require some additional engineering". Given that you'll now need to account for the shear wind load on the retaining wall from the solid glass fencing on top of it, an engineer will need to make these calculations and advise on suitable remedies. It's entirely possible to build the glass fencing on top of the wall if it is engineered to specifications. Engineering documentation and sign-off are likely going to be very important when applying for council approval on the project.
Start with the council, and they'll be able to tell you what requirements will need to be met, or engineering completed to be approved for the construction.
Please let me know if you have any questions.