Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls work as gravity-retaining structures. These composite structures rely on the self-weight of the reinforced soil mass to resist lateral loads from earth pressure, surcharges from vehicles, earthquakes, and water pressure. MSE walls generally consist of three primary components: facing units, soil backfill, and tensile reinforcement. The compacted backfill and reinforcement, when properly designed and constructed, form a reinforced-soil mass that provides sufficient self-weight to stabilize the overall retaining structure.
The stability of the reinforcement-soil interface and the strength of the reinforcement provide the internal stability of the structure, which allows the MSE wall to act as a unit. Several parameters are needed to evaluate the internal stability of the structure, often provided by the reinforcement manufacturers.
A segmental retaining wall system, a type of MSE Wall, is the use of dry-stacked columns of interlocking modular concrete units as the facing for geosynthetic reinforced soil retaining wall structures. SRW systems offer advantages to the architect, engineer and contractor. The walls are constructed with SRW units that have a wide range of aesthetically pleasing finishes and provide flexibility with respect to layout of curves, corners and terraced wall construction. The mortarless modular concrete units are easily transportable and therefore facilitate construction in difficult access locations. The mortarless construction and typically small segmental wall unit size and weight allow installation to proceed rapidly. A typical Hillside crew of three or four persons can erect 250-600 square feet of wall face per day. The economic benefit due to these features is that reinforced segmental retaining walls in excess of 4’ in height typically offer a 25 to 45% cost saving over comparable cast-in-place concrete retaining walls.
Earth retaining wall structures require three primary areas of design analysis: 1) lateral earth pressures, 2) foundation bearing capacity, and 3) global or overall stability. The analysis of each is based on the following engineering properties of the soil(s): angle of internal friction(f), soil cohesion (c), and the density (γ) of the soils. The Coulomb and Rankine earth pressure theories are adapted for design of MSE structures. Resources for applying these theories on SRW include the NCMA Design Manual for Segmental Retaining Walls, FHWA Design and Construction of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Slopes, and AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges.
Why to choose us
We design site specific solutions to meet every need and application. We are your one stop shop. We not only build retaining walls, but we have also worked with many clients to design and construct drainage solutions for sub-surface drainage problems, design and construct slope and landslide repairs, as well as grading for sites that incorporate cuts and fills for our Retaining Walls.