Award-Winning VERSA-LOK Walls Help Fill Kansas City Office, Retail Space

Award-winning landscaping featuring VERSA-LOK is one reason Kansas City’s Briarcliff master-planned community boasts an occupancy rate of over 90 percent.

The development’s newest phase, Hilltop Office Building, won the Award of Merit for Hardscapes-Segmental Retaining Walls (SRWs) from the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) in 2008. The entire 600-acre development features nearly 44,000 square feet of VERSA-LOK Mosaic retaining walls.

Hilltop Office Building is perched atop a high hill overlooking Kansas City and affords its tenants spectacular views of the downtown skyline and Missouri River Valley. But those views came with a 2:1 slope below the walls that presented some retaining wall engineering challenges.

“The segmental retaining walls of Briarcliff Hilltop are a crucial part of the overall concept of the site,” says Gary Strack, P.E. and director of structural engineering for Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc. of Lenexa, KS, designer of the walls. “The goal was to design segmental retaining walls to support parking pad development and allow for the proposed building construction. Access to the back and sides of the building would not have been possible without the retaining walls due to the significant grade change prior to development.”

A series of five SRWs totaling over 36,000 square feet and reaching 35 feet in places were built around the parking pads that surround the building and parking garage on the lower side of the 2:1 slope. Using VERSA-LOK instead of poured-in-place concrete walls resulted in considerable cost savings, as well as a more aesthetically pleasing series of walls.

VERSA-LOK’s tumbled Mosaic was chosen because it broke up the lines of the courses on the massive walls with the random pattern.

“The weathered Mosaic Bethany Ledge colored units were selected to match the previous retail development adjacent to the Hilltop,” says Strack. “The weathered random look of this Mosaic pattern makes the wall look like it has been there for years and blends with native limestone formations in the area. Other building products would not have blended so easily.”

Location: 
Kansas City, MO
Owner: 
Briarcliff Development Company
Designer: 
Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc. of Lenexa, KS
Contractor: 
USC Technologies, Kansas City, MO
Manufacturer: 
Midwest Block & Brick, Kansas City, MO
Square feet: 
36000sq. ft.