SoluForm’s Hand Placed Bagwork

Providing simple, cost effective and environmentally acceptable solutions for the hand placement of concrete or soil bagwork, both in and out of watercourses.

SoluForm offer a range of cost effective, simple to use solutions for the hand placement of bagged concrete or soil, for the creation of a wide range of civil engineering applications, both in and out of watercourses. Both forms of bagwork provide the ability to cleanly handle and safely place concrete or soil, in an environmentally acceptable manner.

From our ISO accredited Production and Bagging facilities in Derbyshire, SoluForm is able to bag up and distribute a range of bagwork options, eliminating the need for Contractors to bag up concrete or soil themselves, on site.

SoluForm Concrete Filled Bagwork

SoluForm have developed and patented a range of biodegradable bags, for use inside traditional hessian/jute bags or on their own, for the placement of concrete in or around rivers.

The use of liners or bags is needed to ensure that cement fines are confined to the bag and not able to leak out into the environment during the vulnerable stage in construction – whilst being carried, placed and prior to the concrete hardening.

Concrete bagwork may be needed for scour protection, void filling, underpinning to a structure subject to scour, the formation of headwalls to culverts and bridges, or the creation and protection of riverbanks and walls. Away from water applications may also include building retaining walls, landscaping, SUD schemes etc.

SoluForm’s environmentally acceptable concrete bagwork solutions now have even more advantages for watercourse construction and repairs as the whole supply chain is integrated into our Carbon-Neutral strategy.

We currently offer two grades of concrete within our bagwork, a 32N high strength structural mix, and a 12N mix.

The high strength structural mix is designed to form a longer lasting, durable concrete block, suitable for a range of underpinning, scour protection and river walling projects, and works particularly well with steelwork. This structural mix is typically used for schemes specified by Consultants, for more technically demanding schemes, or where there is a need for a longer design life. The high strength mix is available in both the underwater and above water bag options.

We now also offer a 12N specification concrete, suitable for general void filling and civil engineering applications for our above water product.

The 12N mix is similar in strength and durability to an ST1/GEN1 or Postmix concrete and can offer a cost effective alternative to our structural mix. The 12N mix is only available in the above water bag option.

Patented Biodegradable Liners

Underwater bagwork utilises SoluForm’s patented biodegradable liners and enable dry mix concrete to be placed below water, with the use of steelwork, in a clean and environmentally acceptable manner. Alternatively, our water soluble above water bagwork can be useful for dry or out-of-water bagwork applications, or for schemes where either the environmental risk isn’t there, or the risk can be managed. In the absence of surrounding water, above water bagwork is hydrated by either pre-soaking or hosing in situ, dependent upon where the bagwork is placed.


Steelwork should be included to tie the individual blocks together, helping to create a large singular block of concrete bagwork. Steelwork is important in schemes where protection against scour is needed, or the design life of the blockwork needs extending, to prevent individual blocks from being dislodged.

Steel rebar pins are pushed down through the bags during placement, and can also be used to tie blockwork to other structures, like abutments or retaining walls.

We stock standard sized 300mm long, U shaped, galvanised mild steel rebar pins that are suitable for use with our bagwork. Other thicknesses, sizes and grades of steel can be provided on request, given sufficient lead time.

The benefits of SoluForm Concrete Bagwork

  • A very cost effective means of placing concrete underwater or near a watercourse, in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.
  • Allow placement of concrete in most cases without the need for dewatering or temporary works.-
  • Liners either biodegrade along with the hessian outer bags or dissolve, to leave just the concrete block. No waste is therefore placed in the watercourse.
  • Our underwater liners and hessian outer bags are manufactured from natural, renewable and sustainable resources.
  • Unlike grout pumping, no mixing or pumping of material within the river takes place, so placement is inherently safer for the watercourse.
  • A highly adaptable system – allowing site personnel the ability to adapt to changes in design, install a solution despite limited information of the problem, or work around unforeseen obstacles.
  • Concrete bagwork is fully carbon neutral
  • EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) Certified by BRE
  • Simple, Clean & Environmentally Acceptable

SoluForm Soil filled MSE Bagwork

For 2021, SoluForm have also introduced a range of soil filled mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) bagwork, for the creation of a range of earthworks, typically used for reinstating riverbanks from the effects of erosion. Soil filled bagwork is a softer form of erosion protection and has the ability to over-vegetate and improve general habitat.

Soil filled mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) bagwork consists of geotextile bags containing typically free draining sandy soils for the construction of earthworks such as riverbanks, slopes and walls. In addition to the fabric bags, an integral component to the bagwork is the inclusion of spikes, pins or plates between the rows of bagwork which prevent slippage or movement of the bags.

The characteristics of the geotextile bags, coupled with the soil that the bags contain, allow for the establishment and promotion of vegetation growth, both on and inside the bagwork. This not only greens up the bagwork to improve its appearance, it also strengthens the bagwork structure and improves both riverbank habitat and biodiversity.

As a form of construction, soil filled MSE Bagwork is very simple, requiring, in many cases, little or no specialist plant and no need for skilled labour. It is often a very cost effective, environmentally safe and ecologically beneficial form of riverbank, slope or wall construction.

As with all forms of MSE Bagwork, SoluForm MSE bagwork consists of soil filled geotextile bags held together and prevented from moving by the inclusion of spiked shear keys between the courses of the bagwork, or by pins/pegs through the bags. Either a singular spiked shear key or two pins/pegs are included with each bag.

SoluForm MSE bagwork is a prefilled bagwork product, meaning the bagwork arrives to site ready to place and there is therefore no requirement to hand fill bagwork yourself. This ensures a consistent and quality controlled end product, with the bagwork product then covered under our ISO 9001 and 14001 quality system.

For bagwork underwater, typically our underwater concrete filled hand placed bagwork is used to form a firm and secure base onto which the soil filled bagwork is placed. This is different from other suppliers who often rely upon gravel filled bagwork, rock rolls or compacting the ground as a suitable based for soil filled bagwork.

Lined concrete bagwork is however a much sounder foundation for soil filled MSE bagwork, and remember, our concrete bagwork is designed to provide clean and safe placement in water. Our concrete bagwork is also carbon neutral and EPD certified.

What makes SoluForm MSE Bagwork different from other forms of MSE Bagwork?

  • Smaller, Easier to Handle Bagwork more suitable for manual handling
  • Our prefilled bags are prefilled with the highest quality BS 3882:2015 compliant sand rich topsoil. This provides a more nutrient rich soil, whilst still ensuring the bagwork is free draining.
  • Importantly, the length of the bag is close to being twice the width. This allows for bagwork to be rotated and better fit together to form a consistent width to a wall.
  • Rather than black or beige coloured bags, our SoluForm Bagwork is dark green. Ultimately, with any form of MSE bagwork, the aim is to “green-up” and vegetate the bagwork, so having a green appearance from the offset seems the most logical approach.


  • There is a wide range of possible applications for both concrete and soil filled bagwork. Each product offers a regular size of building block which can be hand placed into a wide variety of forms and designs. Typically, these may involve:

Concrete Bagwork

  • Structural underpinning of abutments and training walls subject to scour.
  • The formation of scour protection within watercourses.
  • The creation of pipe, culvert or bridge headwalls and training walls.
  • The formation of river walls, including repairs to existing walls.
  • The creation of SUDS schemes, to create storage lagoons, etc.
  • Earthwork retention.
  • Embankment stabilisation works.

Soil Filled MSE Bagwork

  • The repair or formation of embankments, slopes or retaining walls
  • The creation of pipe or culvert headwalls and training walls
  • The lining and formalising of open channels
  • The formation of earth bunds or berms

Contact Us

In the first instance, please feel free to email details of your scheme. We would be more than happy to provide you with more detailed options or prices.

Alternatively, you can use our online chat to connect with one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members right now.


Brassington Works, Manystones Lane, Brassington, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4HF

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