COMPONENT FOR RETAINING ~ALLS AND THE LIKE
This invention relates generally to concrete or similar cast blocks for use in constructing retaining walls, outside steps, garden borders, and the like.
BACKGROUND OF THIS INVENTION
There are many varieties of retaining wall structure which are conventionally available, and which can be used to shore up hillsides and embankments in a safe manner. Traditionally, it was common to use railway ties and similar square-section wooden members, laying these horizontally on top of each other to form a wall, and tying one or more courses of the members back into the fill or earth being retainecl by providing members projecting into the hill at right angles -to the wall, along with some anchoring means at the inner end.
More recently, a number of concrete and similar cast blocks have become avallable for the construction of retaining walls and the like. However, the designers of these prior art blocks tended to accept the necessity of designing a series of different blocks, depending upon the use. For example, the tie-back blocks (intended to extend into the hill or earth being retained) were generally of a different configuration than the "face" blocks. Similarly, blocks for the uppermost course were different from blocks on intermediate courses, and so forth. The necessity to cast a series of different block shapes, and to stock adequate numbers of all of the different shapes, has led to increased expense for warehousing and for manufacture.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THIS INVENTION
In view of the foregoing, it is an aspect of this invention to provide a single cast block shape which is capable of performing the function of a foundation block, a face block either on the top or on intermediate courses, a step component, and a border element. ~oreover, the block of the present invention marries a decorative aspect with a functional aspect, by providing the front face with a decorative con~igura-tion which also perEorms an important function in holding the retaining wall together.
~ lore particularly, there is provided a cast block in the form of a body having a top face, a bo-ttom face, a front face, a rear face, and two end faces. A ledge extends downwardly along the rear of the bottom face, and at least one indentation is provided on the front face running perpendicular to the top and bottom faces.
The indentation is sized to receive -the ledge of another like block.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Two embodiments of this invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals denote like parts throughout the several views, and in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the block of this invention;
Figures 2, 3 and 4 are top, front and end views, respectively, of the block shown in Figure l;
Figùre 5 is a perspective view of the block of Figure 1, taken obliquely from the rear;
Figure 6 is a vertical sectional view through a retaining wall structure incorporating several blocks of the kind shown in Figure l;
Figure 7 is a view of another retaining wall structure, similar to Figure 6, utilizing less blocks;
Figure 8 is a perspective view showing details of the tie-back system utilizing the blocks of this lnventlon;
Figure 9 is a perspective view of an outside steps utilizing the block of this invention;
Figure 10 is a vertical sectional view taken through the steps of Figure 9;
Figure 11 is a perspective view of the blocks of this invention, utilized as a border element; and Figure 1 is a vertical sec-tlonal view through a retaining wall structure incorporatinq the tie-hack system shown in Figure 8.
DETAITED DESCRIPTION OF THE D~A~INGS
At-tention is firs~ directed to Figures 1 through 5, which show a cast block, typically of concrete, at 10, having a front face 12 7 a top face 14, a bottom face 16, a rear face 18, ancl two end faces 20 and 21.
As is best seen in Figure 4, a ledge 23 ex-tends downwardly along the rear of the bottom face 16, and is radiused at 24. The block shown in Figure 5 differs slightly from the hlock shown in Figures 1-4, in that a portion 26 of the ledge 23 has been removed. This removal is for purposes of permitting corner structures in retaining walls, and will be explained suhsequently.
~lowever, the block in the "as cast" condition would be the same as that shown in Figures 1~4. The installers would simply use a concrete saw or a concrete chisel to remove the ledge over a short distance corresponding to the broken line representation at bottom right in Figure 5.
As best seen in Figure 1, the front face 12 is provided with a plurality of parallel, spaced, substantially rectangular indentations 30 to 37, and a corner recess 38. In the decorative design illustrated in Figure 1, the bottoms of all of the indentations 30-37 lie in the same plane, and likewise the tops of the "lands" between the indentations 30-37 also lie in the same plane. While this co-planar configuration is not deemed essential to the invention, it will be seen from what follows that it is of advantage for the outer faces of the "lands" between the indentations adjacent one of the ends -to be in the same plane. More specifically, the lands between the indentations 35, 36 and 37, and that between the indentation 37 and the recess 38 should be all in the same plane. The depth of the various recesses can vary as desired, with the exception of the recess 35 (for the configuration shown in the drawings). The recess 35 is intended to receive the ledge 23 of another like block, when the first block is laid with its rear face downwardly, and the other like block is placed horizontally above the firs-t block, and perpendicular thereto. This situation is 8~
shown in Figure 6, in which a base course 45 of blocks like tha-t shown in Figure 1 is first laid on a compacted gravel base 46 within a trench 50 which has been previously prepared. The base course blocks are al] laid with their rear faces downwardly, and are in side-by-side juxtaposi-tion with the "top" face 10 of one block being adjacent the "bottom" face 16 of the next block, although they would he spaced apart by the depth of the ledge 23 on one of the blocks. In this 10 configuration, the indentations 30-37 and the recess 38 are all directed upwardly, and are all in alignment.
It will be seen in Figure 6 that the recess 38 is located outwardly with respect to the volume 52 that is to be filled and retained. When the base course 45 has lS been laid in place, a first face course 51 is laid down transverse to the base course, with the ledges 23 of the face course 51 lodging within the aligned indentations 35 of the base course 45. Then, the next face course 53 is set atop the first face course 51, in such a manner that the ledges 23 of the second face course 53 are "hooked" behind the upper inner corner of the previous face course. The same is true of the next face course 56, and the top face course 57. It will thus be understood that the same block can be utilized as a top course block, an intermediate course block, and a base course. When the blocks have been placed into position, or during the construction of the block wall, a compacted granular backfill, such as gravel, is placed in the region 52 behind the blocks. This will provide free drainage of water percolating down through topsoil 60 set on top of the gravel.
Figure 7 shows a structure similar to that in Figure 6, but utilizing only three courses of blocks.
Because of the lesser weight of block and the fill, the base course is dispensed with in Figure 7O
Figure 8 shows a block lOa which is similar to the block 10 shown in Figure 1, except for the face configuration of indentations. In Figure 8, the two blocks lOa which are forward and to the left are part 5 ~L~8~
of one of the face courses of a retaining wall. Eor example, they could be par-t of the courses 51, 53, 56 or 57 shown in Figure 6. These blocks, during the moulding procedure, are altered slightly as compared -to the block lO shown in Figure l, in that they are provided with an L-shaped indentation so that when the two blocks are placed end to end, a T-shaped indentation shown at 63 is provided. Located within the backfill, as illustrated in Figure 12, is a "dead man" course 65 of blocks identical to those shown at lOa in Figure 8, and these are tied to a horizontally aligned course 66 at the face of the retaining wall by a plurality of steel rods 67 which are attached at either end to rectangular steel plates 68. As seen in Figure 8, the attachment may be merely by way of providing an L-shaped bend at the end of the rod 67.
The plates 68 are adapted to be received in the portions oE the L-shaped slots of the blocks lOa which run parallel with the major extent of the bloc]c. For the blocks shown at lOa in Figure 8, one part of each end wall (seen at 70 in Figure 8) is also recessed to allow for the rod 67. Preferably, the indent portions 72 of the L-shaped recesses at either end of each block lOa are located substantially centrally of the block, i.e. on a mid-plane between the front face and -the rear face of each block. Typically, for a block with an approximate width between front and rear faces of 8", this portion 72 would have a width of 3/4" and a depth of 3" as measured from the indented end face 70. The inden-tation of the end face 70 may typically be approximately 3/8". Moreover, the indentation 70 is continued partly beyond the portion 72, in order to allow for the turned end of the rod 67. This is illustrated in Figure 8. The extension may be typically about 1" in length.
Attention is now directed to Figures 9 and lO, which illustrate clearly the use of the block of this invention -to provide a set of steps. As can be seen best in Figure 10, each step of the set of steps includes two courses of blocks, placed wi-th their rear faces together and the ledges down. The front block of each step above the first is placed so -tha-t its ledge "hooks" behind the inner upper corner of the innermost block of the step beneath.
Figure 11 illustrates the use of the block 10 as a border around a garden or grassed area. In this instance, the block is placed upside-down, wit~ its face 14 downwardly, and the ledge 23 at the outer upper position.
Wlth reference to the cut-away portion 26 of the ledge 23 (shown in Figure 5), this provision is made to allow for course blocks to be fitted at a corner in a retaining wall, in which the blocks of the base course along one wall are perpendicular to the blocks of the base course along an adjacent wall.
While specific embodiments of this invention have been illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described hereinabove, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that changes and modifica-tions may be made therein without departing from the essence of this invention, as set forth in the appended claims.