5 Things You Should Know About Retaining Walls


Retaining walls can be found everywhere, but until you realize you might need one, you probably don’t pay much attention to them. The team at Shield Engineering has compiled five things you should know about retaining walls to help get your project started.

  1. In most states, retaining walls taller than four feet must be designed by or approved by a qualified, licensed professional engineer. It is important to check with and adhere to local building codes prior to design and construction.

  2. There are numerous material options available for retaining wall construction. Nearly all retaining walls are broken down into five simplified types: gravity, piling, cantilever, anchored, and mechanically stabilized earth.

  3. There are several variables that can affect the design of a wall such as inclination of the backfill, grade at the toe of the slope, overall slope height, soil type, moisture/groundwater/surface water conditions, and the intended use of the area of retained soils.

  4. One of the most common failures of retaining walls is the tilting, cracking and bowing of brick, timber or concrete blocks.

  5. Ultimately, all retaining walls serve to hold back a vertical or near-vertical face of soil that would, without adequate retention, cave, slump, or slide to a more natural slope.

Every project is unique and when it comes to finding the right solution to meet specific challenges, it is important to consult a professional wall designer. At Shield Engineering, we have experienced retaining wall designers that can help meet your needs.

For more information on how Shield Engineering can help you, please fill out the form on our website or call 800-395-5220 to speak to a Shield team member.   


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