Earth retaining structures are engineered to retain soil & rock. They are typically used to accommodate changes in grade as well as to provide access or throughways and to buttress the toe of slopes.
Many older walls may be constructed with the intention to retain earth, but without proper design these will almost always result in failure given enough time. Often, failure of an inadequately designed retaining wall will happen abruptly and sometimes with little warning which is why it is crucial to ensure a proper design is established.
Retaining structures can take many forms depending on their intended purpose and finish required. Where a vertical drop is required to maximise space available on the lower level, a reinforced concrete retaining wall may be the best option. Conversely, where a slope is to form part of a wider landscape and may be visible, often gabion baskets or a geogrid structure may be preferable as these can often have a more natural visual appearance as well as being cheaper and potentially more sustainable.
At SGL we are experienced in the design of all types of earth retaining structures and we would gladly provide our expert guidance in helping you determine which might be the best option for you.