Select a Retaining Wall Type
About Retaining Walls
Everything you need to know about retaining walls to build your project. We specialise in retaining walls that are below 6m in height. As you can see, the range of wall types is varied. There are two types of retaining wall, gravity and cantilever.
Retaining walls that look like an L shape are cantilever, and the walls that look bulky are gravity retaining walls.
When selecting a retaining wall, the considerations usually are?
- Ease and speed of construction
- Type of plant to be used to construct the wall
- The skills required to build the wall
- The aesthetics of the wall
- The cost of the wall
Retaining Wall Types Overview
King Post Retaining Wall
King post retaining walls are ideal for small garden projects as they are very effective in terms of their structural stability with the correct design and easy to install.
In simple terms, they are a structural fence that holds back the earth.
The design is a cantilever. The post is normally a steel column that is encased in concrete or driven into the ground.
L Shaped Retaining Wall
Precast concrete L shape walls are designed to retain material. However, to resist overturning and sliding with a factor of safety of 2 for overturning and 1.5 for sliding the wall units need to be anchored into a plain or reinforced foundations.
L shape retaining walls are an economical solution for many projects. Having said that we can give you a full analysis of the best type of retaining wall from your enquiry.
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.
Reinforced Masonry Retaining Wall
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.
Stepoc is an ideal solution for retaining walls within buildings and locations where heavy plant cannot access.
Reinforced Block Retaining Walls
We specialise in the design and installation of reinforced block retaining walls. These are the most economical solution for many applications.
The wall construction is very fast when comparing with traditional construction. The wall is reinforced using bars that thread through the blocks into the foundation. The foundation and the wall act together as a cantilever giving the structure strength and the ability to restrain the retaining material.
Gabion Basket Retaining Walls
Gabion basket retaining walls are a gravity type retaining wall that uses stone filled wire baskets. They are very similar to our concrete block design but can be more economical.
The gabion basket allow water to escape if large stone is used to fill the baskets. If not, back drainage may be required to stop any build up of hydrostatic pressure building up behind the wall that can cause failure.
Gravity Masonry Retaining Wall
A traditional gravity masonry retaining wall uses the mass of the brickwork/masonry to retain the earth behind it.
A masonry retaining wall can be built using a number of materials. The mass or weight of the bricks or blocks will determine the size of the wall required.
Masonry retaining walls can be built by a local builder. No specialist equipment or techniques are required, just the skills of a bricklayer.
Criblock Retaining Walls
Criblock retaining walls are a gravity type retaining wall that uses cells created by timber, pre-cast concrete or plastic framing. The cells are filled with stone therefore they give the mass for structural stability. Criblock is not dependant on tie-back or geo grid systems for wall stability. As a result this greatly reduces earth works.
Criblock retaining walls allow water to escape from the retained material through the open grid pattern of the structure. This stops any build up of hydrostatic pressure building up behind the wall that can cause failure.
Flood Defence Walls
With the planet warming up giving us some issues with heavy rain and flash floods we need to protect our assets. To this end we have developed a range of fast construction concrete interlocking block flood defence walls.
Most flood defence wall are less than 2m. We have designed four simple walls with heights of 600mm, 800mm, 1200mm, 1600mm
The Construction Process
Step 1 Carry out a risk assessment and prepare a method statement for all aspects of the work to ensure the work is executed safely. Follow all recommended installation guides. Check that there are no underground services under any excavation area.
Carry out a site visit to establish good access to the works, availability of water and services for people welfare. Make sure any establishment works have been completed before starting the works.
Step 2 The retaining section of the earth may need to be removed to give working access to build the wall. The earth should be battered back to a safe slope. The surplus material can be used for landscaping or removed from the site.
Step 3 Excavate and cast the concrete foundation to the size and specification as detailed on the structural engineers drawing.
Step 4 Build the wall in sections of approximately 1m high unless the wall is an L shape precast design as they will be installed full height. Once the first section has been built, install the back drain and fill the space behind the wall with granular fill. Wrap the granular fill with a geotextile fabric if specified. Continue to build the wall in 1m high sections until complete.