October 16, 2018

Best Practices for Zero Retaining Wall Failures - Tall Wall Definition


After a retaining wall reaches between 10 – 15 ft (3 – 4.6 m) it is then considered a tall wall.  The variation is based on the application and the discretion of the wall design engineer.

A 10 ft (3 m) high wall structure with a slope or structure above would be considered as a tall wall, while the same wall height constructed with a level condition above the wall without any additional surcharge may not require consideration as a tall wall.

Several factors may change a typical design when structures reach these defined higher levels such as the depth of wall rock, increased design parameters, enhanced structural fill and global stability analysis requirements.

If your wall approaches this 10 – 15 ft (3 – 4.6 m) height range, be sure to review Chapter 8 of Best Practices to learn more about these considerations.  (ref. BP, Chapter 8.1)

Allan Block is working to achieve our industry initiative of Zero Wall Failures. With our Best Practices Manual and experience in the industry we are trying to expand the knowledge base for the design of segmental retaining walls (SRW's) by communicating and educating the professionals in the industry.  To see the full Best Practices Manual, visit allanblock.com to download today and keep an eye out for more industry Best Practice recommendations here.