Retaining walls are ground retaining systems that use their own mass, the mass of its backfill regions, or anchoring systems to sustain the terrain in question behind the wall. Walls are usually constructed with heavy blocks, angled stones, or offset cinder blocks, all that can be reinforced by concrete frames to establish a geographical resistance to counteract the load’s pressure. Depending on the mass being held back by the retaining wall, the structure can be additionally anchored into the ground with steel I beams vertically being inserted into the ground and re-enforced with concrete. This type of anchoring is typically utilized for soil that has been recently excavated and may produce additional downhill movements. But when considering geographical resistance and load pressure what type of walls are available and what basic information do you require to begin?
To initiate the evaluation of a retaining wall within the Okanagan area it is suggested to begin with 1) how many feet of retaining wall are required, 2) the approximate height of the retaining wall required, and 3) any recent changes/developments to the soil. With these three key points and potentially a topographic survey and soil report, the professionals at Phoenix Ridge Quarry can provide insight on which retaining wall may be best suited to your landscape requirements.
Gravity Retaining Walls
Typically constructed with brick blocks or stacking stones, gravity retaining walls rely upon the weight of the stones mass. Phoenix Ridge Quarry provides hand stackable stones ranging from six to eighteen inches. A mix of blue and brown granite is a hand manageable size that can avoid the use of heavy equipment to install around complex landscapes or to reduce costs. Somewhat flexible, shorter gravity retaining walls do not always require a rigid footing in frost areas.
Cantilevered Retaining Walls
Professionally constructed, engineered retaining walls are comprised of poured concrete with steel reinforcement. These walls have the greatest potential for long term performance that can meet the requirements of hillside landscapes. A geologist and soil engineer will recommend the design pressure that the wall must endure. A structural engineer then utilizes this information to properly engineer the wall and provide construction plans.
Sheet Pile Walls
Specifically utilized for soft soil content, or confined landscapes these walls are constructed out of vinyl or wood planks which are positioned within the ground up to 2/3 of its full height. Due to the lengthy summers of the Okanagan, Phoenix Ridge often replaces wooden sheet pile walls with more durable granite products that can stand the test of time. Buildstone is a mix of blue and brown granite that is a dry stack stone that can used for building high retaining walls at affordable prices that will not deteriorate from the elements like wood can.
An anchored retaining wall has the ability to be built with any previously mentioned styles, with the addition of strength cables. Usually driven within the material via boring, anchors are technically complex but very useful where high loads are expected.
Common ground to all types of retaining walls, components include a foundation system, sub-drains, weep holes, headers, and filters. The type of retaining wall relies upon the weight to retain the material behind its structure and the time and expertise required for the project is dependent upon the complexity of the landscape. But before you choose which retaining wall your residential or commercial project requires, choose with confidence stones that will stand the test of time. At Phoenix Ridge Quarry we locally source our granite stone with colorations ranged by the Okanagan’s climate, a unique addition to your Okanagan home.
Call us for a consultation today, Phoenix Ridge Quarry. We help build walls that push back! 250-826-3175