Choosing the right wall
Once you are done assessing the soil, location, and design you can now begin planning on the type of retaining wall your retaining wall installation project will need. There are a lot of options you can choose from. If the retaining wall comes with a system, designers should work with the product manufacturer for strength, absorption requirements, height deviations, and more. Also if it is needed, the appropriate reinforcement method should be used.
Below are some of the retaining wall installation options that you can choose from:
Cantilever retaining walls work on the principles of leverage and are often constructed in the shape of an inverted T with reinforced concrete or mortared masonry. Less building material is required for a cantilevered wall than a gravity wall, and it can be poured on-site or manufactured at a precast concrete facility. They consist of a relatively thin stem and a base slab, which is divided into two parts: the heel and toe. The heel is the part of the base under the backfill while the toe is the other part. A rigid concrete footing is required for these walls that are usually under 25’ high. Having a retaining wall installation project will help you in the long run.
Gravity walls use their own weight to hold the soil behind them and are often made with heavy materials such as large concrete blocks, stone, or cast-in concrete. They lean back toward the soil with interlocking edges and use their weight to resist the pressure from behind it. Gravity walls can either be small (under 4-feet high) or go upwards of up to 10 feet without any reinforcement. Some municipalities usually need a permit for walls higher than 4-feet.
Similar to cantilever walls, counterfort walls require support along the backside of the wall. They use concrete webs, also known as counterforts, build at an angle to strengthen the stability of the wall. These webs are located at regular intervals along the length of the wall and reduce the natural pressures put on the wall from the soil while also increasing the weight of the wall. These are preferred over cantilever walls when the wall is taller than 25’.
Sheet or Bored Pile Walls
Sheet pile retaining walls are made out of precast concrete, steel, vinyl, or wood planks and are used in soft soil and tight spaces. The planks are driven into the ground by vibrating and hammering to ensure their stability and can be connected using a groove and tongue. Taller walls require an anchor of some sort that is tied to the wall and then built into the soil. They are good to use along waterfronts and can help with beach erosion, shoring, excavations, or cofferdams.
Bored piles are often used when the vibrations from pile drivers are too strong for sheet piles to withstand. Anchors are sometimes needed to support the walls, but not always.
You’ll see panel walls utilized in tall applications such as highway ramps, or near areas where there are heavy loads. They can also use posts to connect the panels that are made of precast concrete reinforced with steel. The face panels can be custom-designed with various architectural finishes to fit in with the surrounding area.
Segmental Retaining Walls
Colorful marketable and domestic operations, used for both straight or twisted designs. They can be designed to conform to any shape while maximizing the point’s usable space, particularly on high-graded terrains. When reinforced, they generally have no height limitations.)
Segmental retaining walls (SRWs) are designed to be used as a gravity walls either with or without reinforcement and can have heights over 40’. SRWs are modular blocks made from concrete that is often dry-stacked without mortar. The individual units interlock with each other to avoid overturning and sliding. Since they are manufactured in a plant, they meet industry standards and are uniform in weight, strength, and durability. They also come in a variety of colors, sizes, and textures to meet the aesthetic requirements of your project. Some brands offer pins or clips to help create a continuous-facing system.
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