In the News!


October 22, 2014

Allan Block Project Wins Masonry Constructions Project of the Year

DePauw University Athletic Stadium
The Allan Block Retaining wall project at DePauw University has been awarded Masonry Constructions 2014 Project of the Year - Landscaping Category. 

Thanks to a large gift from an Alumnus, a new multi-use stadium was built to serve as the southern anchor of the University’s athletic campus. Around the stadium and practice fields were grade changes that required the placement of several retaining walls. The retaining wall system used was Allan Block Ashlar Blend Pattern. Walls with a patterned look were preferred to maintain the high aesthetic requirements and a segmental retaining wall system (SRW) - Allan Block - was desired for ease of construction on the site.

A complete write up for the DePauw University project is available at

October 17, 2014

Building a Fence: Planning Ahead Could Save You $$$

Just finished a brand new retaining wall project?  What is going to keep you from falling over the edge?  A fence or railing above a retaining wall is a crucial part of a project to protect your family or ensure people and objects don’t make the drop to the ground below. 

But what if the fence or railing was not thought of prior to wall completion?
You may be forced to spend additional money to excavate behind the wall for proper installation of the new fence or railing.  This may even cause you to need an engineer to help with a design to prevent the retaining wall overturning. 

Installing the fence or railing is typically a straight forward application, but can cause you to dig into your wallet if it is not properly planned for.  Making sure that the fence is taken into consideration at the beginning of the project just may keep the project on track and on budget.  Placing fence posts near the top of the wall during the wall construction will decrease the labor cost of the project and reduce the risk of damaging the geogrid in the process. 

Whether this is for a residential application in the back yard or a large commercial project, making sure that the fence or railing above a retaining wall is thought of in the early planning stages of the project can save time and money.

October 14, 2014

International Geosynthetics Society Award Winner: Prof. Hoe Ling - Columbia University

pictures wanted

Hoe Ling, professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at Columbia University, has recently received the highest award from the International Geosynthetics Society (the IGS Award) during the group’s 10th International Conference on Geosynthetics held in Berlin, Germany. 

The IGS Award is given every four years to individuals or groups of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development and use of geosynthetics, related products, or associated technologies, through their scientific and technological work. The award committee recognized Ling for his comprehensive studies on geosynthetic-soil interaction for nearly 25 years that included physical model testing and advanced numerical analysis. Read more...

Hoe Ling has worked with Allan Block for many years in the common pursuit of furthering the development of the industry.  Congratulations! We could not think of a more deserving person for the honor!

October 10, 2014

Adding Color to Your Backyard

There are many ways to bring color or life to your backyard.  Plants are an easy addition and depending on your choices, some will flower certain times of the year and others all year – depending on climate.  By adding some raised planters around the edges or pathways of your landscape, the plants can easily be maintained and drip lines can be incorporated ensuring the plants survival during dry periods.
If you have a backyard that could use some boundaries, adding a fence is sure to change it up.  If using a wood or prefab material, there are several options for types, stains or paint color.  If needing something with more sound abatement, than a concrete fence is your solution.  This is also available in color blends and block size options adding great color, texture and style.  With the new fencing in place, feel free to decorate, hang plants or add lighting to bring more color in.

Adding a patio space is another way to add color. Add areas in original or formal shapes as well as flowing pathways.  Place two sided walls on top of the patio to create a new outdoor room.    From natural stone materials to standard blocks, the selection is sometimes overwhelming so visit your local supplier to find something that fits your style and budget.

Still not sure you are ready to tackle it on your own? Hire a landscape designer to help you formulate a plan and make sure that when it comes time to build, that the contractor that has been trained in the products he is installing so that your project turns out just like you dreamed.