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Capobianco/Kramer Residences Retaining Wall

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In 1993, Baumann Engineering was approached by the late Joseph Capobianco and Dr. Warren Kramer, two neighbors who wanted to build a retaining wall to protect their homes.  The hillside behind them had been damaged and eroded by fired, mudslide and had even suffered some loss due to earthquake.  Joe wanted to not only stabilize the hillside, but if possible, reclaim some of his lost square footage, which in the gated community of Emerald Bay, can come with a rather substantial price tag.   Initially, there was discussion of the two neighbors to the south of Joe, joining up as well, to reduce costs through sharing one mobilization fee, rather than pay 4 different contractors to set up.  The other two owners decided not to be in on this project, though the neighbor immediately south did ultimately hire Baumann Engineering to do his wall, as well (See Wise Residence Retaining Wall).  Joe Capobianco had expressed a desire to regain some of the lost backyard, so Baumann devised a concrete wall with gussets at the top to support the soil which was returned to the top of the hillside.  The design employed tieback reinforcement to anchor the walls into the hillside, some in excess of 50 feet. Planters were placed at various locations of the wall which were filled with fast growing plants to crawl up and down the wall.  Color was added to the shotcrete used on the wall to simulate natural earthtone until the plants have grown sufficiently to cover the wall.  The design utilized deep rooted, low fuel content vegetation recommended by the Tree of Life Nursery.   The deep roots allowed the plants to search deeper in the soil for moisture, reducing irrigation costs and at the same time helping to solidify the soil.  By planting low fuel content plants, Baumann was attempting to reduce the speed and ferocity of fire on the hillsides, where frequently the natural brush which has overgrown for years creates a "firestorm" condition.


Owner(s): Joseph Capobianco, Dr. Warren Kramer

Structural Engineer: Baumann Engineering

Project Manager: Baumann Engineering

General Contractor: Caron Construction

Concrete Sub-contractor:

Rebar Sub-contractor: Canyon Rebar

This site last updated Wednesday March 26, 2003

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