Retaining Walls Defined

When it comes to excavation and elevation – two subjects of paramount importance regarding construction – contractors always try to optimise both factors before laying the initial groundwork and establishing a foundation on which a new building will stand, or a new road will be lain. In areas where steep slopes and mountains define the shape of the landscape, building contractors must be effective and creative at the same time to ensure that flat surfaces can be created and maintained without nature interfering too much or causing irreparable damage to the foundation. As a result, a concrete retaining wall can be used to not only shape a slope but create a means that will retain set landscape for years on end.

These walls consist of uniquely shaped hollow concrete blocks that are usually stacked against a slope and on top of each other to create a vertical surface to retain soil against steep slopes and prevent that slope from collapsing onto the level underneath. Solid concrete slabs have also been used for the same purpose but does not prove as effective over long periods. Let us consider the different styles of concrete retaining walls.


The Gravity Wall

One of the most common concrete retaining walls in use is the gravity wall. As its name suggests, the objective is to prevent gravity from collapsing the top soil level onto the bottom one, where the bottom level is usually the one on which a foundation is lain for roads or buildings. The gravity wall is sloped towards the bottom level, while the back side of the wall is vertically straight to form a strong pushing force that keeps the soil retained. As a result, the earth pressure pushes up against the straight vertical surface of the backside of the concrete retaining wall, with the gravity wall forcing the pressure downwards into the soil directly beneath it, keeping the soil in place and avoiding any soil movement towards the bottom level that might compromise the integrity of a foundation.


The Cantilever Wall

Using the same basic concept as the gravity version, the cantilever wall adds a horizontal lever arm at the bottom of the concrete retaining wall, usually facing into the soil to create a reverse L-shaped strut to contain the soil and earth pressure even better than the gravity version. The cantilever concept results in countering the initial earth pressure in such a way that it creates a better stabilised environment that might be more effective for larger areas of stabilisation or higher overall walls.

At MVA Bricks, we can supply the necessary concrete retaining wall blocks, so that you can create a retainer that is not only effective in its function, but also provides a sense of aesthetic value that improves the appearance of the environment. The MVA 7 is rectangular, while the MVA 13 features a round shape, with both easily stackable and versatile to ensure that your concrete retaining wall is perfect. For more information, please peruse our website to find details and images on our available products and contact us directly with any enquiries. Choose MVA Bricks for your next construction project and take full advantage of quality products to shape your next construct.