Inclined Retaining Wall

There are two main inclined retaining wall types. Concrete block and Gabion basket. One uses concrete as it’s mass and the other stone filled baskets. Concrete has more mass than stone and therefore needs less volume on large projects. The choice depends on the driver between cost and a long life span.

Gabion basket can have a guaranteed life span of up top 50 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 plan when we understand your project a little more.

Concrete Block Gravity Retaining Walls

Concrete interlocking blocks are normally cast off site at precast yards and delivered to site. The concrete mix is normally C40/C50 and C50/C60 for severe environments and long life. The blocks are modular in design and come in two sizes. 600mm wide x 600mm high and 800mm wide and 800mm high.

Gabion Basket Retaining Walls

Gabion baskets are made from wire baskets using a mesh size between 3mm to 5mm. The wire can be made from plain steel coated in zinc and plastic coated. For a greater life span the wire can be made from 3/4mm 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 considered 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.

Inclined Concrete Block Retaining Wall Design Guide

Inclined Retaining Wall
Inclined retaining wall table

Inclined Gabion Basket Retaining Wall Design Guide

Gabion Basket Retaining Wall
Gabion Basket Design Guide

The design table above are Indicative designs for inclined retaining walls based upon a base material with allowable bearing pressure of >200kPa.

The design uses well graded, granular backfill with the back of the wall having drainage to relive 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.

Inclined Concrete Interlocking Blocks

Interlocking concrete block 1800, 600, 600
Concrete Interlocking block inclined retaining wall

The selection of the block sizes will depend upon the retaining wall design. Interlocking concrete block walls are faster to build and have a long life span compered to gabion basket.

The blocks are made form high strength (50N/mm2) concrete, using natural stone and aggregates. This allows the blocks to have high levels of durability.

As each block has its own lifting pin cast into it – you can easily change the way in which they are configured without the need for specialist lifting equipment or grabs

Textured Concrete Finishes

The blocks can be finished from a range of textures and colours to match existing colours and textures.

concrete Interlocking block stone textured finish


Rock concrete finish


Blco textured interlocking concrete block finish

Stone Blocks

Bamboo textured concrete finish


Stone textured interlocking block textured finish


Coloured concrete textured finish


Gabion Baskets

The selection of the gabion basket sizes will depend upon the design of the wall. A number of block sizes may be used to achieve the most effect design.

The selection of the wire thickness and type will depend on the design life and location of the wall. For example a coastal location will require a heavy gauge of wire.

Gabion retaining walls are inclined at 6 degrees from the vertical to improve stability, with the correct specification the inclination can be increased normally to a maximum of 10 degrees which can provide cost savings in design. Care should be taken in designing vertical walls because of their flexible nature.

Gabion Basket Wire Table

Inclined Retaining Wall Images

Gabion Retaining Wall
Inclined Block retaining wall

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. 

Retaining Wall Design Service

The design of a retaining wall requires knowledge of the retaining material, the water table, the ground bearing capacity and any site constraints. The design requires a ground investigation and a structural engineer to ensure the design is fit for purpose.

We offer a full design service from carrying out the ground investigation to final working drawings.

Other Retaining Wall Types

If You Are Not Sure Ask Us a Question

Complete the form below to ask a question or request support. I normally answer questions and respond to requests as soon I notice the message.

I can give you direction and support with anything described on this site.

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.

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