Vertical Expansion of Residential Land Using Reinforced Earth Walls – Case Study of Cerro Artola

Sergi Conesa, Félix Enrique González

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This paper shows how mechanically reinforced earth walls are used to extend land vertically for housing development in residential highlands, where abrupt orography changes and scarce constructible surfaces limit the use of conventional retaining systems due to cost overruns. Alternatively, reinforced earth walls are conceptualized to adhere into the urbanized environment, providing a flexible, green, and sustainable structure with minimum environmental impact and slight disturbance to the neighborhood. A case study of several reinforced walls stacked up a hillside located in Cerro Artola (Benahavís, Málaga, Spain), merged into the residential development of The Hills in La Quinta Golf and Country Club, is presented. The design of the project started in February 2019, while the construction of the first reinforced wall commenced in September 2019. From there on, subsequent walls were built upwards while villas were being constructed in newly acquired land. The land preparation lasted until May 2020 and, overall, the project accounted for a total extension of 15,600 square meters and a total height of 45 meters. The implementation of the full system resulting from the combination of polyester geogrids, drainage geocomposites, and steel mesh is detailed along with analysis methods, constructive plans, and the project as it was built.


reinforced, wall, expansion, residential, sustainable, geogrid, geosynthetics


Conesa, S., González, F. E. (2022). Vertical Expansion of Residential Land Using Reinforced Earth Walls – Case Study of Cerro Artola, Vol. 7, Issue 2, p.49-61. doi: 10.4417/IJGCH-07-02-04


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