Retaining Wall Design
Retaining wall systems are an essential structure for land that slopes downhill to contain the soil behind the wall system in a vertical and horizontal manner which avoids soil/ ground movement from erosion issues, wet soil and possibly landslides. For residential applications, there are many driven aspects to consider and one of the most important factors is to select the appropriate retaining wall design that specifically suits your land slope requirements that is adequate in structural stabilization according to the wall size, height and lateral earth pressure.
Retaining Walls Enhances the Residential Landscape Setting
Even though the main functions of retaining walls is firstly for their structural stabilization, many home owners are looking at ways to capitalize and increase the value of their property by featuring a retaining wall. This has become a popular option, as retaining walls can be also highlighted as a decorative enhancement the overall landscape setting with dimensional and aesthetic appeal. The flexibility in the style and design choices, allows many possibilities to suit each home owners individual landscape requirements.
Retaining Wall Masonry Blocks
As for retaining wall materials, the most recommended materials would have to be, masonry blocks. Masonry blocks are great products to construct retaining walls. The two most common types include; natural stone blocks and man made concrete blocks. Both of these types of masonry blocks have tremendous structural strength attributes to hold back the soil behind the wall system.
There are also many retaining wall design and style options that can be achieved with masonry blocks. This is due to the wide range which is available in several block sizes, shapes, thickness, various finishes and block colors. The other benefits to masonry blocks are they are; durable, versatile, all weather and pest resistant; they are long lasting and have tremendous structural strength to the wall system. Remember, a retain wall system does not have to be an unattractive construction, utilize its structural appearance as a decorative feature wall to enhance and complement the entire landscape and yard presentation.
Two Types of Residential Retaining Wall Designs
The two main types of retaining walls are categorized into two types of designs to hold and retain the amount of soil for a non reinforced wall system and a reinforced wall system. A gravity wall is referred to as a non reinforced wall design and a segmental wall design is referred to as a reinforced wall design.
Gravity Wall Design
A gravity wall is more suitable and often featured in small garden retaining walls or elevated garden beds and should not be constructed more than four feet high. This type of wall design is to retain the soil behind a small wall and relies on the weight bearing batter loads imposed. A gravity wall does not need a qualified tradesmen/engineer and does not require a special building permit. Many home owners successfully build a gravity wall without the costs of hiring tradesmen.
Segmental Wall Design
A segmental wall design is used for retaining walls that are more then 4 foot high. They are a reinforced wall system for medium to large wall height and should be designed by an engineer with Geo-synthetic measurements and reinforcement capabilities. The Geo-synthetic reinforcement has special loading batter according to the land slope and other conditions. For example, steep hills on residential properties that do not have a retaining wall can cause disastrous issues which could eventuate into mud slide and improper drainage issues.
Curvaceous Wall Design
A curvaceous wall design can be used for wall height that does not exceed 11 feet high in total wall elevation. Each elevation is 3.5 foot high and interconnects the walls four levels. This retaining wall design creates curb appeal within the landscape garden setting.