What is a Retaining Wall and Its Types?

 What is a Retaining Wall and Its Types?

Are you facing sloping soil issues around your property? Then, it’s time to construct a retaining wall. A retaining wall is different from the regular construction wall as it is built to resist the lateral pressure of the soil.

Masonry and landscaping contractors are skilled and educated in landscaping structures and can build the type of retaining wall structure your property desire.

What is a retaining wall?

A retaining wall structure is built to resist the lateral pressure of the soil when there is a change in soil pressure. Its purpose is to support soil laterally so it can be retained on two sides on different levels. They are beneficial to residential and commercial landscaping as they prevent soil erosion by holding it in place.

Retaining wall designs

Retaining wall installation is vertical or nearly vertical to retain material on one side, preventing soil sloping. They also prevent terrain from collapsing by supporting it where the soil’s angle of repose is exceeding. There are several types of retaining walls built for different purposes. The popular ones are mentioned below.

Types of retaining walls

Gravity wall

Gravity walls are made from mortar-less stone and segmented concrete units. They have a better setback to improve stability as they lean towards the retained soil. Dry stacked walls are flexible and do not require rigid feet.

Reinforced retaining wall

Reinforced concrete retaining walls are often built on spread foundations. These gravity structures stabilize against overturning by their weight and reinforcement bars in the walls.

Concrete cantilever retaining wall

A cantilever retaining wall consists of a wall connected to the foundation of the building structure. It is well engineered as it holds back a significant amount of soil. These are the most commonly built retaining walls because of beneficial reasons. This type of retaining wall often resists a slab foundation which is also loaded by backfill. The backfill weight and surcharge stabilize the wall against overtaking and sliding.

Buttressed retaining wall

When straightened with counter forts monolithic with the back of the wall slab and base slab, Cantilever walls are characterized as buttressed retaining walls.

The counterforts resist the tension and connect the wall slab and the base to reduce the bending moment in vertical walls. It is used for high walls with heights greater than 8-12m.

Reinforced soil Retaining wall

Reinforced soil retaining walls are known as mechanically stabilized earth walls. These structures are built using steel or geotextile soil reinforcement and placed in a layer within the controlled granular fill.

These walls are used as retaining walls if they are built as an integral part of the design or as an alternative to reinforced concrete.

Green retaining wall

These are used to retain gentle slopes. Their building structure resembles a series of honeycomb cells that can be embedded into the slope’s surface to stabilize it.

Mechanical stabilization wall

A mechanically stabilized retaining wall is filed with granular soil while retaining the backfill soil. These can tolerate the differential moments to some extent. The advantage of building this structure is that it doesn’t require any building framework.

Anchored wall

An anchored retaining wall can be built in any of the styles mentioned above, but it also includes additional strength using cables anchored in the rock or soil behind.

It is first driven into the material with a boring. Then anchors are expanded at the end of the cable, which expands to form bulbs in the soil.

Soil nailed wall

While constructing a soil-nailed wall, the soil is reinforced by passive bars in the excavated area. The passive bars are parallel to one another and inclined downward. The skin friction between the soil and the nails puts the nails in tension.

Advantages of retaining walls

Retaining walls offer the following advantages

  • Protective Structure
  • Functional production
  • Best run off-solution
  • Reduce maintenance
  • Decorative feature

Key takeaways

Retaining walls are built on landscapes for the many advantages they provide. They can be retained at different levels on the two sides, supporting the soil laterally and keeping it in place. The retaining walls are built when a dam is built. They create usable beds out of steep terrain and provide decorative, functional landscaping features. They are either built independently or are a part of broader construction work.

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