Gravity Retaining Walls
Gravity Retaining Walls – There are two main gravity retaining walls. Concrete block and Gabion basket. One uses concrete as it’s mass and the other stone filled baskets. Concrete is slightly denser than stone but can be less competitive. The choice depends on the driver between cost and a long life span.
Gabion basket can have a guaranteed life span of up top 100 years depending on the specification of the mesh. Concrete block walls can go far beyond this with a high quality design mix.
The principles of the retaining wall design are exactly the same. The only variable is the mass of the materials being used. We can advise you on specification and cost planning when we understand your project a little more.
Concrete Block Gravity Retaining Walls
Concrete lego blocks are normally cast off site at precast yards and delivered to site. The concrete mix can vary from recycled mixes to C50/C60 for severe environments and long life. The blocks are modular in design. The blocks we manufacture are called Virtabloc and Stackablock. To can get the technical information below.
Gabion Basket Gravity Retaining Walls
Gabion baskets are made from wire mesh. The size of the wire is between 3mm to 5mm. The wire can be made from plain steel coated in zinc and even plastic coated. For a greater life span the wire can be made from 3mm stainless steel. The baskets are assembled on site and filled with rock or stone. Construction of gabion walls on site is about 5 times longer than concrete blocks. This needs to be concidered when selecting either concrete or gabion walls. We can support you in this decision when we understand your project.
The design table below shows examples of the wall heights and block configurations for a number of gravity retaining walls.
Concrete Block Gravity Retaining Wall Design Guide
The design table above presents for the reinforced block retaining walls are Indicative designs based upon a base material with allowable bearing pressure of >200kPa.
The retained material is assumed to be well graded, granular backfill with back of wall drainage or weep holes to relieve hydrostatic pressure.
All indicative information presented in this table is based upon assumed loading and ground conditions and may be subject to change following detailed, site specific design.
RWS 800 Blocks are used for wall heights from 1.6m, 2.4, 3.2 and 4.0m. The dimensions of this block are 800mm wide x 800mm high x 1600mm, and 800mm long. The smaller lengths allow for bonding. The walls are built to a modular of 800mm.
RWS 600 Block are used for wall heights from 1.2m, 1.8 and 3m. The dimensions of this block are 600mm wide x 600mm high x 1800mm, 1500mm, 1200mm, 900mm and 600mm long. The smaller lengths allow for bonding. The walls are built to a modular of 600mm. For more technical information about the blocks click on the technical information buttons below.
Gabion Baskets can be designed for wall from 500mm to 8m in height. The baskets come in a large range of sizes and wire specifications. To learn more go to our Gabion technical information page.
Compare Prices of Retaining Wall Types
Which retaining wall type is the most economical to build? We have written an article on retaining wall price comparisons. The article details the types of retaining wall and gives you a price of each type for comparison. Go to the Article.
Other Retaining Wall Types
- Reinforced Block Retaining Wall
- Inclined Gravity Retaining Walls
- Criblock Retaining Walls
- Gabion Basket Retaining Walls
- L Shape Precast Concrete Retaining Walls
- Reinforced Earth Retaining Walls
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My background is civil engineering from building a civil engineering construction company from 1990 to 2005. I have practical experience of building a large range of structures.