Retaining Wall Design

ECS provides retaining wall design services to support your construction team and the longevity of your projects.

What Are Retaining Walls? Why Are They Important?

Retaining walls are structures designed to maintain the stability of a slope. You commonly see retaining walls surrounding sunken patios or supporting walkout basements. These structures are a must in any location where there is an abrupt change in ground elevation. 

Without a retaining wall, the ground will experience downhill erosion. Depending on the direction of the hill, this erosion can lead to drainage or damage to your building. These walls are important for the longevity of your structure. Design services help you create a retaining wall that is effective for the slope and soil on your land.

Typically, retaining walls are made of stone, brick or concrete. A critical aspect of retaining wall design is a slight angle toward the slope. This angle creates lateral force that pushes back against the soil and prevents shifting. Much like larger walls and structures, retaining walls also need a foundation for stability. 

Another key element of retaining walls is backfill. Dirt absorbs water and swells, which can create more pressure on the back of your retaining wall. To prevent this, retaining walls need a layer of sand or gravel behind them to prevent swelling and reduce pressure that could cause damage to the structure.

Designing a retaining wall also requires an understanding of drainage needs. Bricks or stones provide natural drainage with the spaces between each block, but solid concrete demands a different drainage method. Drainage tile is often the solution. These tiles carry groundwater away from your building to allow for safe drainage.

ECS provides retaining wall design services to support your construction team and the longevity of your projects.

What Are Retaining Walls? Why Are They Important?

Retaining walls are structures designed to maintain the stability of a slope. You commonly see retaining walls surrounding sunken patios or supporting walkout basements. These structures are a must in any location where there is an abrupt change in ground elevation. 

Without a retaining wall, the ground will experience downhill erosion. Depending on the direction of the hill, this erosion can lead to drainage or damage to your building. These walls are important for the longevity of your structure. Design services help you create a retaining wall that is effective for the slope and soil on your land.

Typically, retaining walls are made of stone, brick or concrete. A critical aspect of retaining wall design is a slight angle toward the slope. This angle creates lateral force that pushes back against the soil and prevents shifting. Much like larger walls and structures, retaining walls also need a foundation for stability. 

Another key element of retaining walls is backfill. Dirt absorbs water and swells, which can create more pressure on the back of your retaining wall. To prevent this, retaining walls need a layer of sand or gravel behind them to prevent swelling and reduce pressure that could cause damage to the structure.

Designing a retaining wall also requires an understanding of drainage needs. Bricks or stones provide natural drainage with the spaces between each block, but solid concrete demands a different drainage method. Drainage tile is often the solution. These tiles carry groundwater away from your building to allow for safe drainage.

cement retaining wall

When to Use Retaining Wall Services

Generally, retaining wall design services are a necessity for any construction project that takes place on or near a slope. If your building does not feature a walkout basement, your need for a retaining wall will depend on whether you want to create a flat area for a sunken patio or other functional space, like a parking lot. These flat areas are preferred for all types of buildings because they maximize the space available on the property.

Retaining wall foundation design and structural services are also valuable in areas where the soil may be more challenging to work with. Regions where earthquakes are more common demand design engineered to handle seismic activity. Areas near bodies of water may experience higher levels of moisture in the soil that require more unique solutions.

If you know you need a retaining wall but are unsure what features to include for the most sustainable results, design a retaining wall with ECS.

When to Use Retaining Wall Services

Generally, retaining wall design services are a necessity for any construction project that takes place on or near a slope. If your building does not feature a walkout basement, your need for a retaining wall will depend on whether you want to create a flat area for a sunken patio or other functional space, like a parking lot. These flat areas are preferred for all types of buildings because they maximize the space available on the property.

Retaining wall foundation design and structural services are also valuable in areas where the soil may be more challenging to work with. Regions where earthquakes are more common demand design engineered to handle seismic activity. Areas near bodies of water may experience higher levels of moisture in the soil that require more unique solutions.

If you know you need a retaining wall but are unsure what features to include for the most sustainable results, design a retaining wall with ECS.

cement retaining wall

Designing a Retaining Wall With ECS

Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd. (ECS) provides comprehensive retaining wall design services. Being a full service geotechnical and construction materials engineering consulting firm, we provide full scale services throughout the retaining wall design process. These services include geotechnical exploration, complete wall design, and construction materials testing of the wall system.

Our experience includes segmental block walls, conventional masonry or cast-in-place concrete walls, gabion walls, and sheeting/shoring/soil nail walls. We have a full service soils laboratory and can provide complete soil testing for the design including moisture contents, Atterberg limits, triaxial shear strength, and Proctor compaction. We use state-of-the-art design software to include consideration of seismic loading and global slope stability in the retaining wall design process. These are two very important design aspects often omitted in the masonry of the wall designs we see in the market.

Our experience includes performing retaining wall design services for developing innovative solutions to your site development needs. ECS can assist the design team in properly designing retaining wall structures to assist the other design team members in maximizing the site. We have earned a reputation for providing retaining wall services that incorporate practical and economical solutions to site acquisition and constructability issues. We have the personnel, qualifications, and experience to assist you in all phases of your project and look forward to working with you on your next project.

Designing a Retaining Wall With ECS

Engineering Consulting Services, Ltd. (ECS) provides comprehensive retaining wall design services. Being a full service geotechnical and construction materials engineering consulting firm, we provide full scale services throughout the retaining wall design process. These services include geotechnical exploration, complete wall design, and construction materials testing of the wall system.

Our experience includes segmental block walls, conventional masonry or cast-in-place concrete walls, gabion walls, and sheeting/shoring/soil nail walls. We have a full service soils laboratory and can provide complete soil testing for the design including moisture contents, Atterberg limits, triaxial shear strength, and Proctor compaction. We use state-of-the-art design software to include consideration of seismic loading and global slope stability in the retaining wall design process. These are two very important design aspects often omitted in the masonry of the wall designs we see in the market.

Our experience includes performing retaining wall design services for developing innovative solutions to your site development needs. ECS can assist the design team in properly designing retaining wall structures to assist the other design team members in maximizing the site. We have earned a reputation for providing retaining wall services that incorporate practical and economical solutions to site acquisition and constructability issues. We have the personnel, qualifications, and experience to assist you in all phases of your project and look forward to working with you on your next project.

cement retaining wall

Our Services Include:

ECS has the experience to deliver a range of services for retaining wall design. We provide solutions like:

  • Subsurface Exploration: Our team uncovers the characteristics of your soil to make informed design decisions
  • Foundation Design: We develop a foundation plan that provides the most stability for your retaining wall
  • Slope Stability: Using various tools and methods, we evaluate the stability of your slope and define the best approach for reinforcement
  • Retaining Wall Design: Our engineers recommend materials, drainage methods and other specifications for a durable and effective retaining wall
  • Failure Analysis: We can assess failures of existing structures, determine why they happened and develop approaches for preventing the failure moving forward
  • Value Engineering: Through a careful assessment of your retaining wall needs, we can determine the most cost-effective solutions without sacrificing function
  • Soil/Materials Specification: Our team can identify the best materials for your project based on soil qualities
  • Seismic Hazard Analysis: We determine the potential for earthquake-related activity and use this knowledge to inform our design choices
  • Seismic Design Criteria: Based on our hazard analysis, we develop a retaining wall design that can withstand seismic activity
  • Liquefaction Susceptibility: By assessing moisture levels and disruptions to your soil, we can determine how likely liquefaction is and how to respond

Our Services Include:

ECS has the experience to deliver a range of services for retaining wall design. We provide solutions like:

  • Subsurface Exploration: Our team uncovers the characteristics of your soil to make informed design decisions
  • Foundation Design: We develop a foundation plan that provides the most stability for your retaining wall
  • Slope Stability: Using various tools and methods, we evaluate the stability of your slope and define the best approach for reinforcement
  • Retaining Wall Design: Our engineers recommend materials, drainage methods and other specifications for a durable and effective retaining wall
  • Failure Analysis: We can assess failures of existing structures, determine why they happened and develop approaches for preventing the failure moving forward
  • Value Engineering: Through a careful assessment of your retaining wall needs, we can determine the most cost-effective solutions without sacrificing function
  • Soil/Materials Specification: Our team can identify the best materials for your project based on soil qualities
  • Seismic Hazard Analysis: We determine the potential for earthquake-related activity and use this knowledge to inform our design choices
  • Seismic Design Criteria: Based on our hazard analysis, we develop a retaining wall design that can withstand seismic activity
  • Liquefaction Susceptibility: By assessing moisture levels and disruptions to your soil, we can determine how likely liquefaction is and how to respond

Contact Us for Retaining Wall Foundation Design

ECS is a trusted partner in meeting retaining wall needs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Contact Us

ECS is a trusted partner in meeting retaining wall needs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Contact Us