Contractor ABU (Allan Block University) Online is picking up the pace during the winter months. Check out the topics and dates below and register today for the online events that best fit your schedule. These events happen once a month and on the third Tuesday of each month all year long. Simply click the link below for each of the events that best fits into your day:
Contractor ABU Online
Allan Block provides 8 different webinars to attend. We have two different topics each day of the week.
This year, we saw tremendous opportunities for you to sell your services, even though a global pandemic was upon us. As we approach the offseason, we want to make sure you have the same opportunities to improve your business and train your employees. It just needs to look a little different.
With the new Virtual AB Contractor Certification Classes offered by Allan Block, it will be easier than ever to train all of your new and existing employees to ensure they know how to build an Allan Block retaining wall and maximize your potential. While physical classes allow us to connect with you personally, and we do look forward to hosting them again soon, virtual classes have several benefits of their own:
Convenient for you to attend without having to travel to the class location.
You can have more employees attend the course.
Meeting platforms make it easy for you to ask questions and contribute to the class.
Keep in mind that we still need hands-on sessions. These can be scheduled individually with the Allan Block representative at your shop, or even on your next Allan Block project.
You may be asking yourself, "why should I go through a certification class?” There are many reasons, but the biggest is the industry’s Zero Wall Failure Initiative, which is part of the Best Practice documents Allan Block and the NCMA have published.
For the past 3 years, the industry has been
asking designers to include “certified contractors from an industry recognized program” within their specifications. This is now starting to show up in project specifications. Our Allan Block training program can provide you that credential upon successful completion. It will become more and more important to carry this certification with you as the industry continues to evolve; so don’t miss the opportunities this fall and winter.
Learn more about AB Contractor Certification.
Are you tired of guessing what the engineer is showing on the plans? Do you just wish they were easier to read and not have to wonder what they are trying to communicate? You are not alone. This is why we are enhancing our design software, AB Walls with AB CADD.
Allan Block’s Computer Aided Design and Drafting (AB CADD) will allow design professionals to utilize the wall information from their site plans and create professional construction drawings for their retaining wall designs. How does the AB Walls support “Always Better, Always Allan Block”?
For years, AB Walls has provided an industry leading tool to provide engineering firms an easy path to understanding what needs to be done to have a proper site-specific retaining wall design and estimates.
Specific project requirements are no longer buried in the specifications. They are pulled together under Special Considerations to ensure they are not missed.
The Plan View, Elevation View and Cross Sections will have everything needed from proper layout on the site, as well as construction of the retaining walls.
Notes, Specifications, Plan View, Elevation View, Cross Sections and even Typical Details will all reference each other so mistakes are not made because site conditions are not communicated properly.
The program will come with training for you. Online training and tutorials will be available to help you read the different plans and specifications to ensure you are comfortable bidding and constructing your next project.
This tool will elevate the design standards we have in the industry and provide the most direct path to meet the requirements established by industry and Allan Block Best Practice approach to SRW design. You can click on the image and see an example output from AB Walls with AB CADD and we are making progress for its release in early 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Chad Julius.
How to Gain the Edge with Your AB Contractor Résumé
Have you updated your résumé? Not your job résumé, but your AB Certified Contractor résumé!
For over 10 years, Allan Block has been offering a digital way to display a contractor’s previous job experience to potential new clients, whether residential or commercial. It is good practice to provide references to your potential customer, prior to them committing to you. Having your past project information in an easy-to-read format will put your customer at ease knowing they are getting a qualified contractor. It can also help when bidding projects, as some customers require builders to have installed a certain amount of block, or to be certified with the manufacturer.
Here is what is included:
Training courses completed and when
Your level of Certification
Project location and date
Size of project
AB Collection used on job
This résumé is specific to each contractor, and is automatically updated when you let us know about the projects you have built with Allan Block. Between us or your local sales rep, we will provide you a link that you can have access to at any time that can be printed or saved.
Then, as part of the AB Contractor Reward Program, with each project(s) you let us know about, it qualifies you to receive rewards or incentives – with the more you build, the more we can reward you for. These include:
Large Tool Bag
Small Tool Bag
To view your résumé, contact your Allan Block Sales rep, or you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case Studies – Learn from Projects Completed in the Past
In the world of retaining walls, no two projects are ever the same. Even with two identical walls on the same site, soil conditions, required buried block, and above/below wall considerations can all vary quite a bit. As you might expect, this can lead to each project bringing unique challenges to your team. Luckily, we have an amazing resource for you to learn from other contractors' and installers’ projects that utilized the Allan Block system to overcome many unique and challenging site conditions.
Allan Block’s collection of Case Studies is a one-stop-shop that houses numerous project profiles showcasing the planning, designing, and building phases of each project. We interview the engineers who plan and design the projects, as well as the contractors who install the walls and fences. Case Studies are a great way to learn how to properly handle site conditions that you may not have experienced in the past. These case studies can give you some great ideas that will inspire you on your next Allan Block wall or fence. The featured projects range from small rooftop garden walls, to massive terraced water applications, and everything in-between.
Have a project that you believe would be a great fit for a case study? Reach out to Allan Block with the project’s information and we would be happy to review the wall or fence. When selected, your project will be featured on the Allan Block website for other designers and installers to learn from. But in the meantime, be sure to read up on the existing case studies so you will always be ready to tackle your next unique site condition.
Need a more natural weathered-looking retaining wall without the hassle of trying to puzzle those large boulders in place? AB Europa from Allan Block is the perfect product for providing exactly this look.
Launched over 20 years ago, this tumbled, old-world look has been a top pick for homeowners and contractors alike. While the blocks have a more natural appearance, they still provide the same ease of installation as our well-known AB Collection. Push the design to the next level by checking out the AB Abbey Blend, a combination of four different block sizes from the collection to create a breath-taking pattern.
AB Europa Collection - AB Abbey Blend Pattern
Whether you are on a commercial or residential site, stand out above the competition with an AB Europa or AB Abbey Blend project today.
One question Allan Block hears from both contractors and engineers is “Do we need to bury block to frost depth?” The answer is No. Segmental retaining walls (SRWs) are flexible systems which allows them to move and flex with the soil to accommodate frost heave during the winter months. This also means that SRWs can be installed during winter months, too.
With cold weather construction comes additional considerations:
Settlement due to frozen ground/frost heave.
Using better soils
When a retaining wall is built on frozen ground, the potential for differential settlement is high due to the frost heave in the soil. To eliminate the potential of differential settlement, the ground must be thawed, and any poor soils should be removed.
Compaction is always important, no matter the time of year. In winter, compacting frozen soil is nearly impossible. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead in order to ensure proper compaction (thaw the ground or replace poor soils with Wall Rock).
Use Better Soils:
Poor soils, like clay, that hold moisture are more susceptible to frost heave. Bringing in more ideal soils from off-site allows for proper compaction and increases the draining capabilities of the wall, which reduces the frost heave movement. To minimize these adverse effects, thaw the ground and replace poor soils with a higher quality soil.
Allan Block Corporation 7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439 Help & Support Center: (800) 899-5309
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