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Retaining walls  helps to hold back dirt or withstand lateral soil pressure. Moreover, earth filling, liquid pressure, and granular materials such as sand behind a retaining wall construction can cause Horizontal lateral pressure. These, on the other hand, vary depending on such conditions.

Different types of retaining walls

Gravity retaining wall

Gravity retaining walls are often huge as a substantial gravity load is necessary to resist soil pressure. The construction of such a wall must consider the aspects of sliding, overturning, and the bearing pressure of the wall.

Gravity retaining wall
Figure 1: Gravity retaining wall (, 2021)

These are cost-effective when the heights of these walls are up to three meters. Moreover, gravity retaining walls include crib , gabions, and bin retaining walls. The materials utilized to construct these walls include stone, masonry units, and concrete.

Retaining wall materials
Figure 2: Gravity retaining wall materials (, 2021)

Gabion retaining wall

Gabion retaining walls are rectangular wire mesh boxes. However, these are multi-celled and filled with rocks or other appropriate materials. It helps to control erosion and to stabilize steep slopes.

Gabion retaining wall
Figure 3 Gabion retaining wall (type of gravity retaining wall) (enviro-mesh, 2018 ).

While gabion retaining walls provide economical and environmentally acceptable solutions, these are flexible structures. These structures are massive. Depending on the project’s needs, you can make gabion baskets out of welded or woven mesh.

Cantilever retaining wall

A cantilever retaining wall is the most prevalent kind of wall. These uses reinforced concrete and work on the idea of leverage. It has a considerably thinner stem and relies on the weight of the backfill soil to supply most of its resistance to sliding and overturning. The most prevalent form of earth-retaining construction is a cantilever retaining wall.

Cantilever Retaining Wall
Figure 4 Cantilever Retaining Wall(M., 2021)

The primary function of the cantilever walls is to keep the soil at a steeper angle than it would normally assume. 

Crib retaining wall

Timber retaining walls are built out of cribs or chambers composed of wood, concrete, and fibers. It is one of the earliest types of retaining walls used. Furthermore, you can fill the cribs or interlock sections with free-draining materials or earth back-fill, which eliminates hydrostatic pressure and allows water to leave freely.

Timber crib retaining wall

Timber crib retaining walls uses timber as building material when building the cells of the crib wall. To keep the wall’s bulk, you must fill the cells with free-draining stone materials. Water may readily drain through the cribs. The walls are constructed with interlocking wood pieces.

Timber Crib retaining wall
Figure 5 Timber Crib retaining wall (Externalworksindex, 2021 )

Precast crib retaining wall

Precast concrete cribs are the most affordable type of earth-retaining solution. Furthermore, a precast concrete header and stretcher components make up this system. The erection does not necessitate the use of expert labor.

Precast crib
Figure 6 Precast crib retaining wall (Externalworksindex, 2021)

You can plant trees and bushes to provide a natural and attractive appearance. Crib walls, are made of a particularly flexible material. We use these for minor bends.

Anchored retaining walls

A retaining wall system with anchors is a structural feature that gets inserted through the rock or soil. This is to transmit the tensile pressures created in the structure to the ground. However, this type of system with anchors is a structural feature that you can insert through the rock or soil to transmit the tensile pressures created in the structure to the ground. Moreover, They are frequently thinner than other retaining walls such as gravity walls and cantilever walls.

Anchored retaining wall
Figure 7 Anchored retaining wall (Gopinath. V, 2020)

We build anchored walls when the load acting on the building is high. Piled retaining walls, and other similar structures appear to be uneconomical in this case. Furthermore, because of space limits, it is difficult to fit the foundation and buildings.


A counterfort is a cantilever wall. It has counterforts mounted to the inside face of the wall to further resist lateral thrust. It is between 8 and 12 meters long. Moreover, coated timber, concrete block structures, poured concrete, stone, and brick are all typical retaining wall materials.

Figure 8 counterfort retaining wall

Mechanically stabilized earth retaining walls

They are straightforward to install because of the time it takes to construct mechanically stabilized earth barriers. The action between the backfill and soil reinforcements, which involves friction and strain, gives the wall structure its stability. Moreover, its primary function is to prevent the structural backfill from collapsing, and it is a robust and flexible system.

MSE Earth Retaining Wall
Figure 9 MSE Earth Retaining Wall (Rodriguez. J, 2018)

The panel, concrete block, and temporary earth walls are examples of MSE retaining walls.

Piled retaining walls

Piled retaining structures are circular structural components. It helps to transmit vertical and horizontal loads to deeper and better layers of the foundation soil. Moreover, you can use this in both temporary and permanent construction projects and is cost-effective up to a height of 6 meters.

Piled retaining wall
Figure 10 Piled retaining wall (BAUER Technologies Ltd, 2021)

Hybrid retaining walls

Hybrid retaining walls are a combined system of both bulk and reinforcement for stability.

Hybrid retaining wall
Figure 11 A Hybrid retaining wall (Specialistpiling, n.d.)

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