The different types of retaining walls used in construction nowadays are gravity, cantilever, embedded, and reinforced retaining walls. All of these retaining walls are often used in various site conditions and requirements.

In this blog, we’ll share with you the most common types of retaining walls used in commercial construction and their applications. It’s important to be familiar with the different types of retaining walls before hiring a retaining wall builder.

What is a Gravity Retaining Wall?

A gravity retaining wall is a kind of retaining wall that takes advantage of gravitational force to remain stable despite the lateral pressure from the ground behind it. The resistance from a gravity retaining wall allows it to remain stabilised once installed.

The broad and sloped base of a gravity retaining wall further enables it to withstand the pressure of the soil. It can go as high as 3 metres from the ground and is relatively easy to build.

Gravity retaining walls rely primarily on their weight, which means that builders can use the best materials for construction. Each gravity retaining wall will also come with a small trench dug so that the structure can be installed in place.

What is a Cantilever Retaining Wall?

Another prevalent type of retaining wall used in commercial projects is a cantilever retaining wall. These walls are placed deep within the ground so that they will not easily slide or topple over.

A cantilever retaining wall has a concrete base and stem, a wide base, and a narrow top portion. One significant benefit that this type of wall has over its counterparts is that it requires less space to build. Additionally, cantilever retaining walls can reach up to 5 metres above the ground.

What is an Embedded Retaining Wall?

Compared to the other retaining walls here, an embedded retaining wall is used to provide near-surface structures underground. You can often see them installed in basements, metro stations, and car parks.

An embedded retaining wall operates in the same manner as a cantilever retaining wall by taking advantage of the passive pressure from the ground. Embedded retaining walls also use ground anchors and internal propping for additional support.

What is a Reinforced Retaining Wall?

A reinforced retaining wall is a kind of retaining wall that leverages geogrid layers. It does this to increase soil resistance and bearing capacity against differential settlement. This type of retaining wall is installed by raising the tensile force applied to the soil behind it. This allows high-tensile-strength materials to be used as reinforcement.

Builders carefully select the type of material, construction interval, and length of reinforcing material needed to ensure stability when installing a reinforced retaining wall.

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