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Herbert Strutt School, Derbyshire

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Herbert Strutt School, Derbyshire

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Diamond 25 concrete blocks provided.
1 of 3 | Diamond 25 concrete blocks provided.
Unique Trapezoid shapes for ease of construction.
2 of 3 | Unique Trapezoid shapes for ease of construction.
Desired finish for recreation area.
3 of 3 | Desired finish for recreation area.

Diamond 25 retaining wall system helped achieve the high environmental rating through the high strength, allowing recycled back fill to be used.

Key facts

Sub contractor: PC Construction
Client: Derbyshire County Council
Contractor: Mansell Construction
  • Durable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Works with geogrids
  • Easy to use product


The new 1,360m2 school for 200 pupils aged 4-11 is set within a sloping site with extensive landscaping to accommodate play areas, trees and an ecological resource area for the pupils.
Designed to fit into and complement the surrounding landscape, Derbyshire County Council conceived and designed the school with reference to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), and required all the solutions involved in the project to have good environmental credentials.


The Diamond 25, segmental concrete earth-retaining structure forms a 100m long curved wall which goes up to 2.8m high, and creates an enclosed play and recreation area for the pupils at the new school in Belper.

Diamond 25 is a segmental concrete retaining wall system that works with geogrids to form a robust and highly efficient reinforced earth structure of immense strength. The blocks are dry laid onto prepared granular footings - no concrete or mortar is required. The geogrids are sandwiched between the block courses and laid out behind the wall face in combination with layers of compacted, backfill.

At the Herbert Strutt School site the back fill was primarily site-won, having been reclaimed from the demolished buildings that previously occupied the site. The use of reclaimed materials in the wall construction fitted perfectly with the environmental and sustainable approach of Derbyshire County Council. The use of recycled materials in the back fill also made the solution very economical and cost effective.

Derbyshire County Council required a large retaining wall with sweeping internal and external curves of varying height. The unique trapezoidal shape of a Diamond 25 block and the easy-build dry laid construction meant that these curves were easily created, quickly constructed and provided a highly aesthetically pleasing and durable finish.

Herbert Strutt School, Derbyshire

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