Retaining wall type

Reinforced masonry retaining wall

About reinforced masonry retaining wall (Stepoc)

There are a number of methods to construct a reinforced masonry retaining wall. The Stepoc method has been designed to be economical, fast to build and easy to design.

The Stepoc masonry retaining wall system are constructed using a formwork block that can be laid dry. The blocks are hollow and have been designed to take reinforcement bars and filled with concrete.

Stepoc is an ideal solution for retaining walls within buildings and locations where heavy plant cannot access. The method of construction is less expensive and much faster than traditional cast in-site construction.

Stepoc comes in three widths 200mm, 256mm and 325mm.

The block sizes for the 200mm and 256mm are 440mm long x 215mm high, and the 325mm block is 325 mm long x 215mm high.

The pour height so the dry laid blocks do not lose stability are:

  • 200 8 courses = 1.8m
  • 256 10 courses = 2.25m
  • 325 10 courses = 2.25m

There are a number of methods to construct a reinforced masonry retaining wall. The Stepoc method has been designed to be economical, fast to build and easy to design.

We can design your retaining wall for you. Below we have put together a quick guide to show you some examples. Every wall has to be designed by a structural engineer as every project has different soil types. Click here to get a quote for your next project.

Reinforced masonry wall (Stepoc) design guide

Height (mm) 900 1350 1800 2250 2700 3150 3600
Number of Courses 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Wall Type Step 200 Step 200 Step 200 Step 256 Step 256 Step 256 Step 256
Base Width (mm) 1000 1100 1200 1250 1650 2350 2425
Base Depth (mm) 200 200 250 250 300 350 350
Wall Bar















Top Base Steel


A252 A252 A393 A393 12/200




Bottom Base Steel


A252 A252 A393 A393 12/200




Surcharge 10kn/m² 10kn/m² 10kn/m² 10kn/m² 10kn/m² 10kn/m² 10kn/m²
Factor Of Safety M=1.5 M=1.5 M=1.5 M=1.5 M=1.5 M=1.5 M=1.5
Sketch Stepoc-Table sketch 1 Stepoc-Table sketch 2 Stepoc-Table sketch 3 Stepoc-Table sketch 4 Stepoc-Table sketch 5 Stepoc-Table sketch 6 Stepoc-Table sketch 7

The design table above presents 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 the 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. This table is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change following a detailed, site-specific design developed by an approved structural engineer.

When we design your wall, we will consider the ground conditions, the retained material, the load cases and design the wall using the most cost-effective solution.

Stepoc blocks per m2

There are 11.11 blocks per m2 for the 200mm and 256mm blocks and 13.67 blocks per m2 for the 325mm blocks.

Third length plain end blocks are calculated for the corners, end details and other junctions such as openings, and then subtracted from the full length standard block quantity. We can calculate the exact number of blocks for you on request.

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    Compare prices of retaining wall types

    Which retaining wall type is the most economical to build? We have written a free guide on retaining wall price comparisons. The guide details the different types of retaining walls and gives you a price estimate of each type to compare.

    Retaining wall price comparison guide

    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.

    Learn about our retaining wall design service

    FAQs about reinforced masonry retaining wall

    What is a stepoc retaining wall?

    Stepoc is the trade name for the Anderton hollow concrete block that is designed for the construction of retaining walls.

    How much does a reinforced hollow block retaining wall cost?

    The cost to build a reinforced hollow block retaining wall changes with the height of the wall, scale of project, location of the project and any site constraints.

    We do have a comprehensive price table and budget calculator in our price guide. The price guide costs change over time so we keep it in one document.

    You can download the document from this link. Get the price guide.

    How does a Stepoc retaining wall work

    The stepoc blocks are hollow, and when constructed the void is filled with steel reinforcement and concrete. The block is attached to the foundation using starter bars. The reinforcement allows the wall to act as a cantilever retaining wall.

    Can stepoc be used for flood defence walls?

    Stepoc wall are ideal for flood defence walls, because the concrete core seal all the block joints. Go to the case story section to read about a stepoc flood defence wall.

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