Going green for 35 years

23 March 2015

Terraforce turned 35 in 2014, and Holger Rust, founder and owner of the company wishes to thank clients, licensees and recommended installers for joining them on this journey of building outstanding (some big, some small) retaining walls. Says Holger: “The future looks very encouraging and we are excited to continue to grow our product presence in Africa and abroad.”

Rust designed the original interlocking and reversible hollow-core earth retaining blocks 35 years ago. They are amazingly versatile, but the most significant aspect of the blocks is that, by being fully permeable, reversible and plantable, they offer a sustainable solution to anyone who needs to consider landscaping or erosion control on site, as an alternative to impermeable solid concrete or brick methods.

Not only has this been part of Terraforce’s marketing approach from the beginning, but it goes beyond strategy for the company.

Karin Johns, marketing manager for Terraforce, explains: “Rust has always been passionate about green living and green products and it is this passion that steered him into the direction of creating a product that allows a concrete retaining wall to blend back into the surrounding, be it an environmental or aesthetic consideration.

This is an often ignored aspect of maintaining a balance in urban or rural environments, where profit commonly outweighs sustainable choices”

Holger Rust is satisfied with his decision to pursue a sustainable business model, through extensive, and sometimes expensive, product testing and research in laboratories, here and overseas.

“I was warned that making too much information freely available on our website would encourage the “reverse engineers”, the free-loaders of our times to copy our designs and jump on the band wagon.

This has happened to some extent, with even a “leading corporate citizen” among the suspects, but on the whole, their activities have not been able to hamper our sustained growth, even in the current recession.

“For me that is the most rewarding confirmation, that a combination of innovation, quality and commitment, are the most powerful driver of a long-lasting business.

Our bottom line is to “go green and clean” wherever we can. In life and in business, it is the only truly sustainable option for the future.”

Green and functional landscaping for Cell C
In 2012, mobile operator Cell C started the construction of a new head office in Midrand, which occupied an initial 46,000 m3, with 14,000 m3 held in reserve for future development.

The campus includes offices, a national network operations centre (NOC), data centre, customer walk-in centre, call centre, Cell C shop, and a distribution warehouse.

The new campus will form part of the multibillion-rand Waterfall Business Estate development, which straddles the N1 between the Buccleuch interchange and Midrand’s Allandale Road.

The construction site is situated on a slope, which required the earthworks platforms to be terraced, creating cut-face and bulk embankments above and below parking areas that needed to be retained.

Says Silvio Ferraris, of Remacon, Terraforce licensee, Gauteng: “The Terraforce retaining wall system was chosen by the architects Bentel Associates International for its closed-face configuration and plantablitly.

The walls reach up to 6 m in height and are mostly reinforced with geo-fabric, while some are installed against natural, residual granite formations.”

The installation of 4,680 m2 standard, grey L11 blocks commenced in September 2012 and the last walls were constructed around the Cell C mast in July 2014.

All the walls were planted with creeping, indigenous groundcovers for a softening and greening effect, and to add to the overall visually striking and functional landscape planned by Insite Landscape Architects.

More information from Tel: +27(0)21 465 1907 /

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