Retaining Wall Design



Retaining walls are structures purposely designed to retain soil to form an unusual slope. Retaining walls are used to form a desired soil elevation, forming a landscape to a desired profile, shaping a road overpass such as embankment or cuttings etc.

The most important element in any earth retaining structure is the sub soil drainage. If the retaining wall cannot discharge water that is in the soil, eventually the soil load becomes very substantial that it would displace the retaining wall, or even worse, causing it to fail or collapse.


Types of retaining walls

There are a number of different retaining wall designs you need to consider depending on the purpose of your project. Our structural engineers can help you select the types of retaining wall best suited for the outcome of your project.

Gabion walls - A simple, yet effective design. A gabion wall consists of rough cut stones or randomly collected stones of similar size, encased in a wire basket or mesh cage. Gabion baskets can be purchased as an off the shelf product. They are easy to assemble on site, requiring only a specific stacking order to achieve stability and desired result. Gabion walls allow perfect sub soil drainage of the soil that is being retained.

Precast Concrete Crib Walls – the crib walls are a series of interlocking, precast concrete components that can be erected quickly and are low cost. They are also an off the shelf product, utilising the soil as the backfill and draining materials. Like the Gabion walls, the crib walls allow for perfect drainage, reducing the pressure caused by the water build up in the soil.

Precast Panel Walls – Like the crib walls, the panel walls are precast concrete components. The panel walls can be erected vertically, at the cost of having to lay reinforcements (usually in the form of galvanized steel belts) to strengthen the panels. Precast panel walls are propriety items, so their performance varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

In-situ concrete walls - An engineer designed, concrete retaining wall can suit a variety of project needs. Since the construction of a concrete wall can be done by just about any builder. In-situ concrete walls may be cheaper to build except for their form work, and are more flexible, depending on the type of soil retaining required to be achieved.

Other earth retaining walls include:

  • Sleeper Retaining Walls
  • Reinforced Masonry walls (bricks or concrete)
  • Sheet piling with Steel soldier piles

Why Neilly Davies for Retaining wall Design?

Our consulting engineers have over 35 years experience in designing retaining walls for a range of applications. Whether you require retaining walls for subdivision, road embankments, shoring, anchored, cantilever or gravity retaining walls our engineers can design a solution that is buildable and cost-effective.


Should you require any assistance in choosing the right retaining wall for your project, do not hesitate to call us on 1300 730 340.

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