Pretoria-based concrete block paving and precast concrete kerb producer, MVA Bricks, has taken the concrete retaining block (CRB) wall market by the scruff of the neck. Since launching two block types, the MVA-7 and the MVA-13, the company has won at least half a dozen major CRB wall projects in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. It has also supplied numerous smaller projects.

“Production began in June last year,” said MVA general manager, Brennan Small, “and our first major order followed shortly thereafter when we supplied the new Cummins Southern Africa Regional Distribution Centre and Filtration Plant development in Waterfall Park, Midrand, with 26 000 MVA-7 blocks. These were used in the construction of a CRB fill-wall facing on a large building platform.

“Since then we have delivered MVA-7 blocks to several other major retaining wall projects:  the Courier Guys Phase 2 distribution centre development in Kya Sands (24 000); a new Builders Warehouse in Midrand (19 000); a new industrial park on the R21 near Oliver Tambo International Airport (12 000); a new industrial park in Nelspruit (8 000); and toThulamahashe Plaza, some 200km from Nelspruit (3 400).”

Small says the MVA-7 has a flat face and was designed for economical open-faced wall construction. As its name suggests, it is generally used on the basis of seven blocks per square metre, although this can be increased to a 10-block configuration when required.

“The MVA-13 is quite different. It has a rounded half-moon face and is designed for upmarket commercial walls in closed-faced designs. A heavier block, it has a much greater load-bearing capacity and can be deployed in walls with wall face angles which vary between 60˚ and 90˚.

“The MVA-7 has a locking mechanism which restricts its usage to wall faces of between 60˚ and 75˚. However, it can be modified as it was for the Cummins project where one section of the wall was built at an angle of 85˚. This was necessary because of space constraints and to accommodate an attenuation pond at the footing of the wall.”

Small advises that MVA Bricks is on the verge of launching a third block, LokBlok, and two orders have been placed for delivery in July.

“The LokBlok comes with a tongue-and-groove configuration which allows the blocks to interlock positively and means they are well suited for high walls up to 90˚. LokBloks come into their own on walls in excess of eight metres, heights which require a very specific block because of high loadings and pressures.”

Founded in 1995, MVA Bricks also produces a range of concrete block pavers which are available in various sizes, shapes and colours and the production of kerbs began in 2005 using pressed casting to achieve exacting and highly durable quality standards.

MVA has a fully accredited SANS mark for its pavers and kerbs and is producing the CRB blocks to SABS standards while it waits SABS accreditation.

“We maintain an in-house laboratory and we test our products on a daily basis. Our results are to hand within 24 hours and form the basis of our ongoing quality analysis. This means we are able to tell very early whether our products meet our required strength ratings,” concluded Small.