Allan Block

Contractor News

December 13, 2017

We at Allan Block are always striving to be Always Better and bringing you, our contracting customers, valuable information that can be incorporated into your business which is vital to our success. In this issue we will strive to bring insight that will (1) help you find ways to bring value to your business by providing programs/tools to help you drive revenue and (2) provide market information to better educate on industry standards, initiatives and/or best practices to assist with installation efficiencies. If you would like to register for this newsletter, have questions, comments or topics you would like to see addressed, please submit HERE. We look forward to hearing from you!

In this issue: Newsletter Subscription


AB 3D Modeling Program

What's New:
AB 3D Modeling Program

Are you ready to quickly and efficiently bring your 2D drawings to life and sell more projects? Our team has been behind the scenes creating one of the best Allan Block tools yet – the AB 3D Modeling Program.

Set to launch during the first quarter of 2018, we are creating a very easy and economical (free) 3D Modeling program that will allow you to bring you outdoor living areas to life. Our goals with the program are simple:

Allan Block 3D

  1. There must be a significant time savings to the designer

  2. The 3D models must be realistic, and textures must be accurate

  3. The 3D models must show the wall’s composition to aid the designer in selling their design

  4. The 3D model must be easily textured to allow the designer to prepare various layouts/patterns in rapid succession

  5. It must interact with other Allan Block packages and elements

Allan Block 3D

This tool will work with our existing Retaining Wall and Courtyard Apps by using an extension for SketchUp (a free tool) by opening script files. These script files will be generated by Allan Block through our apps and will instantaneously generate three-dimensional models within SketchUp that you can manipulate if needed.


This will be a great opportunity for contractors to obtain a free 3D modeling program to work for them with very little investment. More information will be out soon, and sneak peaks are being provided frequently so give us a call (800) 899-5309 to learn more!


Allan Block Certification Program:
It's That Time Of Year!

CALLING ALL CONTRACTORS!!! Are you ready to gain valuable knowledge to help you improve efficiencies and increase profits? The Allan Block Contractor Certification Program was created to help you train current and future employees on the most up-to-date installation methods within the SRW industry. As we head toward the end of 2017, many classes are being scheduled around North America – check out the training schedule.

AB Fieldstone

Allan Block training classes are full day events providing you with additional insight to help differentiate from competitors and share new installation techniques that are becoming more and more prevalent such as no-fines concrete. Whether you are new to the SRW industry or a seasoned veteran, there is something to learn at each class.

Featured Collection: AB Fence

Allan Block Collections

Have you ever wondered: What is the next product I can add to my portfolio to make money? What is that product my crews can efficiently build, economically help solve site problems and aesthetically meet the demands of the owner? AB Fence may just be that product.

AB Fence is a product that has been around for over 20 years and continues to solve sound and sight concerns on building sites all over the world. Many SRW contractors have learned and many are learning the advantages of the system which include:

  1. Profitably install a unique system that solves site problems

  2. Provide a cost effective and aesthetic solution to the General Contractor and/or Property Owner

  3. Allow them (a contractor) to sell the segmental retaining wall(SRW) work on the same site at the installed price they want because of the “package price” with the AB Fence solution.

A near mortarless system, AB Fence installation methods are simple, and our training program can get you up-to-speed quickly. Next time you are looking at a grading plan and/or site plan, don’t forget to check out the fencing details on that site, it may be the difference between getting the SRW or not….while also adding a profitable AB Fence sale on top.

Contractor Talk: Best Practices for SRW Design

About five years ago Allan Block stepped up to the plate and created the outline to what the industry now recognizes as “Best Practices for SRW Design”. Two documents are now published, Allan Block’s Best Practice for SRW Design and NCMA's Segmental Retaining Walls Best Practice Guide.

Why is this important for you as a contractor? The industry has accepted these documents as the best path forward for creating quality designs and assisting with quality finished projects. A standard has now been set for industry recommendations and many SRW companies are following these guidelines and suggesting their use within each market. From typical grid depth to water management details and seismic considerations a designing engineer, city official, wall installer or production company now has a document to fall back on and reference. As a contractor, this may help you bid a project, identify an improper design or point out potential issues before they arise.

In addition, within the document the industry is recommending the use of certified contractors to continue the pursuit of our “zero wall failure initiative.” We are seeing this used in municipalities and private projects throughout the country and highly recommend you take advantage of the AB Contractor Certification classes previously outlined and visible on our training schedule to participate in a class this winter.

best practices for SRW design
best practices for SRW design

Get to Know an Allan Block Master Wall Builder: K&E Excavating

As a reminder, an Allan Block Master Wall Builder is an individual who has reached the third and final step in the AB Contractor Certification Program (level 1 = AB Certified Contractor and level 2 = AB Experienced Wall Builder). Contractors that reach this level have both the knowledge and the skills to build top quality Allan Block walls. To learn more check out the details associated with each certification level.

Allan Block Master Wall Builder K&EExcavating

This quarter we are going to take you to the Pacific Northwest where our long-time production partner, Oregon Block and Paver Mfg. has helped to develop quite an SRW market. Working with quality contractors is instrumental to a successful market and Master Wall Builders from K&E Excavating are certainly part of that equation.

For 19 years, customers have counted on K&E Excavating to be trustworthy, honest and hardworking. Jay Johnson, PE and Project Manager at K&E recently shared the “owners have led us where we are.” He went on to say, “Kevin and Eric (cousins) have provided us the equipment, tools, and resources to be successful. We regularly send 3-4 people to see Mike and Tanner during AB Certification Classes and they (Kevin and Eric) are always willing to reinvest in the business to help it grow.”

Mt. Hood Project

K&E Excavating’s primary business is as an excavating contractor where they often act as the site general contractor. They have always self-performed their retaining wall work and began working with Oregon Block and subsequently Allan Block about four years ago. By the end of 2016 they had several Master Wall Builders and continue to grow their project portfolio with AB projects each month. Their work consists of government/municipal projects along with private commercial and residential developments which has allowed them to remain successful during the ups and downs of our economy.

What is their largest SRW project? The Mt. Hood project which is approximately 30 ft (9 m) tall and half a mile(0.8 km) long……safe to assume any project measured in miles rather than feet will rank towards the top of any project list!

From the outside looking in, you can easily see why customers and employees value K&E. Their core values that promote integrity, fairness and accountability have led to successful partnerships and will continue leading them into the future. To all at K&E Excavating, we are thankful for your support of Allan Block and know we can speak for Mike, Tanner and everyone else at Oregon Block and Pavers when we say it has been a pleasure to work with you and we thank you for your business. Keep up the good work and good luck with all you do!

hot topics

Allan Block Projects Win Commercial & Residential Projects of the Year!

Many of you reading this attended HNA in Louisville and may have seen the annual awards show during the 2017 event. In the case you did not, contractors near Columbus, OH (Hedge Landscape) and Fayetteville, South Carolina (Delta Development) won awards for projects completed with Allan Block products.

Hedge Landscape won the best SRW Residential Category with the AB Europa Collection and AB Old Country Courtyard Collection from AB production partner, Reading Rock. These products along with pavers and various other landscape materials were used to build an outdoor oasis in Dublin, OH. The retaining wall products were needed to offset a 12 ft(3.6 m) grade differential in the backyard and to create usable space for the inclusion of a pool, fire place and fire pit among many other resort style amenities. A beautiful project that solved the many challenges the owners faced when searching for the solution to their back-yard problems.

Delta Development used the AB Collection to create an amazing 30 ft (9 m) tall retaining wall project on a mixed-use development project in Cary, NC. This project was the hands down winner of the HNA SRW Commercial Category and simply by a photo you can see why. In addition to the beauty of what Delta Development built was the incorporation of a deeper faced Allan Block unit to provide the appearance of pilasters which is exactly what the developer wanted. A solution Delta Development and local production partner, Fay Block, helped provide when budget for a cast-in-place structure proved to be too expensive.

Two great projects which rank among the best of the best all time. Think you have a project worthy of such an honor during 2018? Give us a call or shoot us some pictures and we can help you submit the project(s) for future HNA consideration.

Residential Wall HNA Winner Hedge Landscape Commercial Wall HNA Winner Delta Development
Allan Block Corporation
7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
Help & Support Center: (800) 899-5309
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