Retaining wall designs are created by engineers to support soil laterally in sloping landscapes, and must resist the lateral pressure of soil to avoid collapse. Soil can be remarkably heavy, and can exert different forces due to expansion and contraction during icy weather, when water present in the soil, and sometimes due to changes made to the landscape for buildings, foundations, or traffic. All of these factors must be considered when designing a retaining wall.
Because of the vagaries of soil movement, your lot can look great, but be at considerable risk from slipping or falling earth, depending on the inherent and weather-related soil properties. This movement can also put buildings in peril, as well as endanger users. However, a well-designed retaining wall should insure an effective wall to last for many years.
Retaining walls act to provide a ‘shelf’ that prevents soil movement and erosion, and they also help better distribute soil weight, improve graded landscapes, and keep your commercial landscape safer and more stable. Plus, they make a fantastic decorative feature when used correctly!
Retaining wall design is not one-and-done, however. A retaining wall design that’s right for your needs is heavily dependent upon the weight that is put upon it. The majority of this force is caused by the soil and aspects acting on it. Xpress Engineering’s skilled structural engineers create appropriate retaining walls after calculating the soil burden the retaining wall must be able to hold.
The soil burden is based on four different factors: (a) the strength parameters of the soil, (b) the unit weight of the soil, (c) the type and amount of wall movement, and (d) the drainage conditions of the backfill material used. A proper retaining wall design considers and accounts for all of these factors and conditions to insure that your wall can do it’s job for many years to come.