Retaining Walls solve the need for a change in grade where space does not allow the grade to simply be sloped, which is the least expensive way to change elevations of the ground. Traditional cast-in-place concrete retaining walls are giving way to the modular masonry variety for three reasons. Modular masonry is less expensive, more attractive and more flexible - literally and figuratively.
Curving shapes are possible, and the dry-stacked blocks adjust to settlement and relieve water pressure in the retained earth.
Walls over 4' high require geotextile cloth tie-backs into the backfill. The vertical spacing and depth of the tie-back will be specified by the modular masonry manufacturer. A specialty contractor is necessary for good results. The top of the wall requires special attention when a guard rail is incorporated.
- This detail is suggested to specify the construction and materials required for minor retaining walls. Wall over eight feet in exposed height should be reviewed by a specialist. The soil reinforcement grid is used for wall four feet or more in height and is the key to the stability of the wall. (Dark horizontal lines in detail)
- This detail may eliminate the need for specifications covering these conditions.
- This detail is referenced the site plan.
- Most codes require a guard rail for changes in grade of more than 24". Consider placing a fence behind the wall or incorporating a guard rail into the top of the wall.
- These details should be placed on the Site Plan sheet(s), the A100 or AS100 series of sheets per the National CAD Standards.
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orig post date FEB 2013