An Overview of Retaining Walls

What is retaining wall? It is a wall that is designed to retain and channel away any movement of earth, water or both that may cause damage to a foundation. Retaining walls are generally fixed to the ground vertically. However, in some cases they may be fixed at an angle, retaining the slopes or gradient of a landscape. In a way retaining walls act as a stronger frame around which a house is placed.

How does a retaining walls work? A wall is generally constructed by stacking two pieces of concrete or soil material. To give the wall a firm grip, a layer of gravel is added to the top. The final layer of earth is then added to the gravel. It acts as a cushion. The earth is held in place by retaining walls so that water and other movement can be directed away from the foundations.

Why build a retaining wall Generally speaking, retaining walls can either be built on a concrete slab or on a soft earth soil layer. A toe slab is used for soft soil layers. A toe slab is a reinforced frame made of steel with embedded soft soil layers at regular intervals.

In case of concrete slab wall construction, a split-level butter is used to cut out the counter-forts to the concrete wall. After cutting the counter-forts the cut out portion is pushed through the cavity formed by the butterer into the earth soil. This is done by removing the cut out portion of the wall after digging out the counter-forts.

Why use cantilever holding walls? Cascading walls are basically foot-per-foot constructions. As such, these are extremely strong. The cantilever is fixed to the surface at regular intervals. The angle of the cantilever varies depending upon the requirement of the application.

What is a wall arch? Wall arch is an intermediate term used between what is a wall and what is a stem. Wall arch is usually a low wall which has a regular set of balusters or piers set atop it. These are used to increase the wall’s overall compressive strength. Besides increasing the compressive strength, these also increase the horizontal distance of the wall from the ground to any desired level.

What is a water-retaining wall? Water retaining walls are constructions where the wall is made of a material which retains the water that falls on it. Usually this material comes in the form of a solid rock or a clayey soil. In some cases the material acts as a dam, which collects the water that falls on it.

There are many more such terms that you may encounter while you are searching for the right kind of wall or foundation to construct your building. Different types of materials are used in the construction of these walls. Generally, the materials used to construct these walls include concrete, bricks, blocks, stone, timber, steel, marble and lime stones. While these materials may be used for constructing different kinds of walls, all these cannot be used unless you are familiar with the construction techniques and methods which are commonly used by the builders.

Generally, these walls are built on foundations which are placed on the base slab of the building. The slab is then supported by the column stem. Generally the column stem is constructed first and is connected to the concrete slab by a steel rod. This steel rod is then inserted into the concrete so that it forms the base slab. The position of the base slab will depend upon the type of house you want to construct and also upon the soil pressure and direction of the wind.

The next thing you should know about these walls is that they are normally constructed on slabs which are not very much slabs but rather planks or pieces of wood. You can construct a gravity retaining wall in two different ways. The first and most common way is to use small wooden beams which are parallel to each other. The wood is placed slightly above the ground. When the wall is constructed this way, it provides a stable base for the wall to rest upon.

Concrete in the core is another way these structures can be constructed. This type of construction is called post foundations. One major advantage of using concrete in the core of these structures is that it acts like a structural anchor. Concrete acts as a structural anchor and resists any changes in pressure or weight on the wall surface. A temporary support beam is usually built above the construction site when this type wall is being constructed. This is done so that the weight of the wall can be supported even after the concrete has been poured.

The concrete can be either built up on the ground surface or from a ground level by constructing a vertical stem and then resting the wall on it. The vertical stem allows the wall’s support beams to be supported against any slope. The cantilever wall is basically a series vertical columns supported by a beam. These beams are usually built directly above the soil on which the wall rests.An Overview of Retaining Walls