In the world of sustainable landscaping, upcycled materials are an eco-friendly and rewarding choice for creating unique projects. One of the most popular options for heavy-duty applications is repurposed railway sleepers. To ensure your installation is both practical and full of character that lasts a lifetime, consider combining railway sleepers with I-beams (or H-beams).
Why Choose I-Beams?.
I-beams, also known as Rolled Steel Joists (RSJ), are typically used in the construction sector for structural and engineering purposes. They meet stringent quality and form criteria, ensuring that even when recovered from demolitions or bought new, these beams remain strong and durable..
The timeless combination of rustic steel I-beams and seasoned hardwood railway sleepers is not only visually striking but also impervious to contemporary design trends. This pairing guarantees resilience, reliability, and magnificent results in any application.
Key Dimensions to Consider
Before ordering materials and starting construction, it’s essential to consider the compatibility of I-beams and railway sleepers. First, check the ‘web height’ or the space of the ‘U’ channel on each side of the beam, ensuring the railway sleeper fits snugly. Also, ensure sufficient length for each I-beam post. In-ground depth is just as crucial as the out-of-ground height for long-term stability. For example, a 1.5m above-ground wall or post should have at least 750mm in-ground.
Adapting Reclaimed Materials.
Using reclaimed materials often requires some compromise or creative adaptation. When working with used railway sleepers, be prepared to dock or cut off the ends to ensure a sturdy fit into the I-beam. If a deeper slot inside the ‘U’ channel is unavailable, consider using a hidden fixing or expansion agent as a workaround.
When designing your project, consider the unique character and aesthetics you want to achieve. Do you prefer closer posts for a more compact look or larger spans to showcase the beauty and texture of hardwood railway sleepers?
A Perfect Match: UK Oak Hardwood Railway Sleepers and I-Beams.
UK Oak hardwood railway sleepers, for instance, offer an ideal combination of reliability, variety, and extreme durability. These sleepers pair fabulously with steel, like new or used RSJ I-beams. UK Oak comes in a default 2.6-meter length and is also available up to about 4.6 meters, providing visual continuity and quality form for installation.
Planning Your Retaining Wall.
To get started on your I-beam sleeper retaining wall project, determine the span, length, or run, as well as the ideal height. With this information, consult a team like Interlink to refine your options and find the best solution to meet your needs. Embracing the combination of upcycled materials and timeless design, your retaining wall will not only look great but also stand the test of time.
Interlink specialises in supplying high-quality, reclaimed hardwood railway sleepers and beams. We source sustainable timber from New Zealand and worldwide to provide durable solutions for landscape and construction projects.