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  • shiregeotechnics

Retaining walls: Purpose and applications

Retaining walls are crucial to the development of any structure. They’re used to reinforce and strengthen the soil, making the structure more stable. This is key to the longevity of any development, as the more stable it is, the better its chances are of withstanding a high volume of footfall, as well as a range of natural factors such as the weather.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at retaining walls, including why they exist and some examples of the different ways they can be used:


What is a retaining wall?


A retaining wall is a type of wall that is designed to hold large quantities of soil in one place. This helps to raise the ground in or around a structure, giving you more control over its shape and appearance.


Are there different types of retaining walls?


Yes, there are four main types of retaining walls. They all have a similar purpose, but different types of walls are used in different contexts. The main types of retaining walls are as follows: gravity, cantilever, embedded and soil. Embedded retaining walls tend to be used in large, underground structures, while gravity walls are usually used on a much smaller scale. This is because gravity walls over three metres in height tend to lose their effectiveness and stop being able to reinforce soil beyond a certain point.


Like embedded walls, soil retaining walls are also useful for large-scale projects, as they have no maximum height.


The final type of retaining wall is the cantilever wall. These tend to be a good option if you need a wall that can hold back large quantities of soil. Unlike the gravity retaining wall, which would be best placed somewhere like a garden, a cantilever retaining wall is something to consider if you’re trying to shape and restructure a larger space.


Do you need retaining walls?


The short answer to this question is usually yes: retaining walls are vital to supporting lots of different structures. By reinforcing the soil, they allow you to get the most out of the space you’re working on.


If you need a retaining wall, it’s time to get in touch with us here at Shire Engineering Consultants. We can help you with all sorts of things pertaining to retaining walls, such as retaining wall design, what type of retaining walls your project needs, and how to integrate these designs into your project plan.

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