What You Need to Know about Earth Retention and Retaining Walls

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It can be difficult to design a safe and effective earth retention system because of the complexities that can be involved, especially when either natural or man-made unstable slopes exist and considering existing adjacent structures and their needs. In order to build retaining walls greater than four feet in height, a person will need some engineering experience and will also have to be familiar with local building codes and their requirements. However, earth retention is typically worth it, as retaining methods have the potential to save $750 million every year in national repairs due to small landslides. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does Earth Retention Do?

Earth retention and storing systems are used to support excavation projects, to stabilize adjacent structures, for the support and remediation of wharfs and bulkheads, and in order to stabilize a slope of some sort. The exact design of any earth retention structure will depend on the structure of the soil, groundwater issues, likely weather conditions, loads that will be put upon it, any adjacent construction, such as concrete structures or concrete sidewalks, that may go in, vibrations, and expected seismic loads. Additionally, the excavation bottom must be carefully planned out when it is below the water table. For example, should earth retention be necessary in an area where there will be blasting, or where there are nearby railroads or highways, these create important vibration concerns that must be considered carefully. If there are stockpiled materials or some sort of civil construction going on nearby, this load needs to be considered when the retaining wall is designed.

What Earth Retaining Support And Shoring Systems Materials Are Available?

Typical retaining walls forms include soldier piles and lagging, jet grouting, steel sheet piling, soil nail walls, and gabion walls. The construction also often includes access shafts for tunneling and anchor bracing to provide lateral support. In addition, it may be necessary for a project to also have protection from the weather.

What Are the Differences Among the Different Wall Styles?

A gabion wall is a series of wire baskets filled with stone. These baskets are rectangular and interconnected. This type of construction is commonly used for temporary retaining walls. Soil nailing uses nails installed in the soil to create a gravity wall. This is suitable for either permanent or temporary support and is commonly used to repair existing walls or to support excavations. Sheet piles use steel sheets with interlocking edges to hold the soil together. This is commonly used to construct seawalls and bulkheads and to create barriers against the flow of groundwater. Jet grouting uses fluid jets with a high velocity flow to create a cemented soil in the ground. This form of wall is typically used to underpin foundations and to seal the bottom of excavations. Finally, soldier piles use a vertical steel pipe with a horizontal lagging to support excavations.

What Are the Most Important Considerations During an Earth Retention Project?

Paramount among all considerations is that of safety. There are very serious hazards to doing any sort of earth shoring or trench digging, and it is of crucial importance to retain a civil construction company with the expertise, experience, and motivation to provide both reliable and safe earth retention.

What Safety Considerations Are Important When Constructing Earth Retention?

First, it is important to eliminate or minimize moisture underneath the retaining wall by constructing a proper foundation. Foundations can be made of river rock, concrete, or many other materials. Second, a drainage system needs to be installed to reduce the risk of erosion. The drainage system must be graded to facilitate proper drainage away from the wall and especially away from the foundation.

The proper installation of retaining wall is crucial for the safety and security of homes, commercial buildings, civil construction, wharfs, construction projects, and many other areas. If you need earth retention, be sure to consult with the civil construction company in your area that can guarantee you the best result.

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