February 6, 2020

I am Building a Retaining wall to Hold Up My Driveway. Do I Need to Add More Reinforcement?

It is difficult to immediately answer the question “do I need more reinforcement grid when my Allan Block wall is holding up my driveway?”  To properly answer that question, we will first need to understand several things:
Typical Gravity Wall
       1.  How tall is the wall?
       2.  How close is the driveway to the retaining wall? 
a.       Typically, if the surcharge (defined as additional weight, and in this case, the driveway) is located closer than twice the height of the wall, the structure will act as a surcharge……for example, if you have a 4’ (1.2 m) tall wall, the surcharge would need to be 8’ (2.4 m) behind the wall to avoid putting pressure on the wall.
      3. What type of soil is the wall being constructed in?

Driveway Surcharge Example
So, when you are building a wall that is holding up your driveway, these questions will need to be answered and will be the starting point for the conversation on IF grid is needed, or more grid is needed.  The quickest way to understand if grid is needed is to reference our Retaining Walls by Allan Block brochure, or talk with a local engineer.  This brochure will walk you through the “Plan, Design and Build” steps needed to properly layout and build your retaining wall.  In addition, you may also want to check out various locations within our website such as these simple gravity wall charts.  “Gravity walls” are walls built without the assistance of grid or reinforcement and only use the weight and setback of the block to perform.  So when you get ready to build with Allan Block, please don’t hesitate to contact us, use our reference tools or talk with one of our dealers to assist you in figuring out if your wall will need reinforcement (grid).

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