Retaining Wall Guide

Welcome to our retaining wall guide page. The diagrams to the right show the core functions and the design criteria for designing a retaining wall. The following failure criteria are encountered while designing a retaining wall.

Causes of Failure

Overturning – The material being retained creates a force (moment) that causes toppling of the wall.  The weight of a gravity retaining wall resists this moment.

Bearing capacity – The weight of the wall and earth is supported by the ground beneath. The ground bearing capacity needs to be checked to ensure any settlement is within limits.

Sliding– The retaining earth creates a horizontal force that can cause the retaining wall to slide. This is resisted by the friction between the wall and earth beneath, and the embedment of the wall.

Stability– The earth around the wall requires adequate strength to avoid an overall slip failure.

Shear– The blocks can shear at the base or on courses. We introduce a kicker at the base and interlocking buttons to resist these forces.

We have designed four retaining wall solutions. Each one uses different ways to restrain the forces and  have their own pros and cons. The selection of the right solution takes into account the existing ground conditions, site access conditions, retained material conditions and cost. Each solution includes a table to help you select the right one for your site.

Value Engineered to Deliver the Most Economical Solution






CALL 0800 880 3135

Call today and tell us about your project. We can then design it and give you the quantities of blocks you require together with a quotation. We supply all the method and risk assessments and COSHH data sheets for installation. Opening hours from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

INTERLOCKING CONCRETE BLOCKS Material, Scrap, Recycling, Silage Bays Call 0800 880 3135 CONSTRUCTION Blast Walls, Bund Walls, Fire Walls, Buildings Call 0800 880 3135 MARITIME Dock, Breakwater, Quay, Harbour Walls Call 0800 880 3135 CIVIL ENGINEERING Retaining Walls, Piling Mats, Temporary Works Call 0800 880 3135

Download Our Retaining Wall Guide