Large panel structure. 30' x 15' x 9' - 73,000 lbs of dirt being held back by those panels. 7' water fall.

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Comment by Mike Meredith on November 17, 2013 at 9:13am

73,000#.  36 tons.  How do you figure?

Comment by Matt on November 17, 2013 at 10:39am
We brought in three trucks of dirt @ 12 tons each = 36 tons. The truth is we put way more dirt than that in there. It takes 3 tons of dirt to cover approx 100 sq ft at 1 foot thick. Inside the feature is 350 sq ft. That equals about 9 tons just to cover 1 foot of space inside. The inside tapers from 7 feet tall down to 3 feet. This gives the average inside of 5 feet tall. So if the inside is 350 sq ft (which requires 9 tons of dirt to cover 1 foot tall) and I'm going an average of 5 feet tall, that means 9 ton x 5 feet tall = 45 tons of dirt.
Comment by Mike Meredith on November 17, 2013 at 10:52am

:).  You make it sound like the feature is holding back 36 tons.  Your greatest pressure is at the bottom of the panel.   Add water without a French Drain and you got a blow out.  Hydrostatic pressure is a MoFo.  Typically GFRC panels are attached to an Engineered Retaining wall.  Large footing to boot.  GFRC Panels are not Structural.   Only Cosmetic.   Be careful with those. 

Comment by Mike Meredith on November 17, 2013 at 11:08am

Im like Anderson Cooper.  Keeping them Honest. 

Comment by Matt on November 17, 2013 at 11:26am
Thanks Mike. I really like that this feature is making someone try to figure it out. You obviously know that those are not normal GFRC panels but also know that there are other means to holding back the dirt. Lots of structure and engineering involved in making everything work. Inside the feature does have an irrigation a system that puts out many gallons of water. All accounted for. Also, there are features of this outcropping that have serious overhanges also filled with dirt. Major stress is placed in many other places than just the bottom. This feature has planter pockets on every side and at verious heights. The water feature is something all together different. The tricks involved in making it work are simplistic in nature but overly engineered. Many times these features get overlooked as something thrown together and might look good, when in reality there is SO much more involved. I am very proud of this feature on so many levels but never really talk about the proccess in the build. Again, thank you for the questions.
Comment by Mike Meredith on November 17, 2013 at 12:55pm

Sorry Matt.  I didn't know that those were not normal GFRC Panels or something else. When I think of GFRC panels Im thinking of decorative concrete 1" thick 5'x 7' in size.  Easy enough for 3 guys to handle.  With inserts to allow for all thread or "J" anchor bolts to weld structural steel to.  The panels I deal with need to be anchored to something Structural for they are not by themselves.  I'f these panels that I am describing are not what we see here then due tell us what we are looking at.  Im excited to know! 

Comment by Matt on November 17, 2013 at 2:21pm
Mike, the panels were made with the knowledge that they were always going to be holding weight behind them. I don't know of too many GFRC panel structures that you would want to try to "fill" in this way. Panel structures need to deal with little stresses and very little outward pressures. Everything from the metal frame to the three differnt mixes used for the panels had to be changed to deal with different outward stresses. It might blow your mind to know that some of these panels have more than 12" of structured material behind them. This rock outcropping was built to drive a truck on top of it as well. We plan to sell this setup as a display for car dealerships. So I might hold back a little in actual detail. However, you are right to think that some type of "retaining wall" is needed as well as a frame and decorative panels.
Comment by Swarup Kumar Dey Choudhury on April 10, 2015 at 10:24am

Beautiful..

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