Specification Section: Retaining Walls – Models and Materials
Retaining walls and soil-retention products continue to evolve, as does the software that designs these systems and simulates their performance. The following resource aims to serve those who design and model such structures as well as specify the materials and products for projects. The Models & Materials section is an ongoing focus at Informed Infrastructure.
Allan Block offers a powerful and user-friendly retaining wall design software which is the most advanced in the industry that can optimize the design process thus saving time and increasing productivity. AB Walls Design Software is a comprehensive design tool which outputs professional quality construction drawings with technical support data. It allows designers to transfer a conceptual layout from a site plan to a complete wall solution and then export to various CADD software programs including ReSSA. In addition, designers can generate elevations, plans and multiple cross sectional views of their retaining wall projects.
AnchorWall Software promotes collaboration among all parties involved in segmental wall planning, design and execution. This fully featured package enables engineers to design retaining walls with high levels of accuracy and broad arrays of functionality.
Bentley Systems Inc. and its GeoStructural Retaining Wall provides geotechnical analysis and allows for the evaluation of alternative design scenarios. GeoStructural Analysis provides a complete range of modules to develop in-depth, accurate and fail-proof designs for all types of retaining-wall structures (e.g., abutment, nailed slopes, cantilever, gabion and gravity walls, etc.).
Daystar Software Inc. offers its iStructural.com cloud-based structural-engineering software, with a module for design and analysis of cantilevered/restrained as well as tapered concrete and masonry retaining walls.
Digital Canal’s QuickWall version 8 can design walls constructed of cast-in-place concrete or masonry. QuickWall’s versatility is in the wide range of loads it supports—in addition to lateral soil pressure, loads can be set in almost any place/direction on the wall or soil.
IES Inc.’s QuickRWall can be used to design cantilever and gravity retaining walls, restrained walls, propped cantilevers, and tapered (battered) or stepped walls. Reports include full equations and intermediate data readily available for complete checking.
KEYWALL Operating Software the latest version of the KEYWALL Operating Software allows users to design or analyze gravity wall and soil reinforced wall sections for all Keystone structural units and most common soil reinforcement materials. KEYWALL provides several different design methods from ASD to LRFD.
MIDASoft Inc.’s GTS NX is a comprehensive 2-D/3-D geotechnical analysis software package equipped to handle the entire range of geotechnical design applications. GTS NX has effective options for dealing with structural or fiber reinforcements. For detailed analysis, structural elements (including some pretension) can be introduced in a construction-stage analysis so forces and moments in the structure can be computed along with the interaction between structure and ground.
Oasys Software’s Frew enables engineers to quickly define and solve even the most complex embedded retaining-wall design problems. Frew checks the stability of cantilever and propped retaining walls using the Limit Equilibrium analysis methodology. Using Soil Structure Interaction, Frew predicts the displacement, shear forces and bending moments of the wall. Engineers can calculate the required wall-embedment length using a choice of methods.
RISA Foundation gives users the ability to solve and optimize all types of foundation systems. For retaining walls, it has the ability to design and perform stability checks, automatically calculating soil, line and point loads.
Tekla (formerly CSC) and its Tedds structural-design calculation software automates repetitive structural calculations. Tedds retaining-wall and analysis module has increased flexibility and scope for users, providing the ability to design cantilevered, stepped and inclined walls.
Anchor Wall Systems has the Diamond Pro, Diamond Pro Stone Cut, and Vertica and Vertica Pro retaining-wall systems. Anchor also offers the Landmark retaining-wall system, which according to the company is the only segmental retaining-wall system in the world that has undergone the rigorous appraisal of the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center.
Boulderscape Inc. designs and builds structural/architectural shotcrete wall finishes. The company strives to create custom retaining-wall finishes that are non-repetitive, unique and less expensive, and it uses eco-friendly materials and promotes vegetation growth in its wall finishes.
Creative Pultrusions Inc. manufactures the patented SuperLoc Composite Sheet Pile System and SuperWale Sheet PIle Retaining Wall. SuperLoc Composite Sheet Pile was engineered to replace traditional materials of bulkhead construction. Superwale eliminates the need for timber, steel or concrete wale sections.
Filtrexx’s LivingWalls offer the underlying structure needed to permanently stabilize extreme grade changes while offering higher aesthetic appeal than conventional block or concrete systems, and at a lower cost. Filtrexx offers a wide range of MSE and non-MSE solutions for walls and slopes from 45-80 degrees of inclination, with varying degrees of design flexibility and planting options.
Foresight Products LLC offers Manta Ray, Stingray and Duckbill drive-type tipping-plate earth-anchor systems for tiebacks, shoring, bulkheads, block walls, segmental retaining walls, utility poles, landscape and horticultural applications. These anchors don’t require excavation or soil disturbance. Manta Ray anchors have ultimate capacities as great as 20 tons, and Stingray anchors have ultimate capacities as great as 50 tons.
Hayward Baker Inc. has experience with the full range of geotechnical construction techniques to build new retaining walls or augment or repair existing retaining walls. The company performs grouting, ground improvement and structural support as well as constructs temporary and permanent retaining walls. Retaining-wall-related products include soil nails, soldier piles and lagging, anchors, sheet piling, and micropiles.
Keystone Retaining Wall Systems LLC offers a portfolio of product solutions with various aesthetic options, price points and proven wall performance. Keystone Compac uses open core and a shorter tail to make it lighter weight and easier to handle. The Keystone interlocking pin connection system allows for traditional battered-setback installation, or can be used in a near vertical position. The Keystone Compac is available in a number of finish options including straight, tri-plane, Hewnstone, Victorian, and Regency.
LOCK+LOAD Retaining Walls Ltd. said that the modular cantilever design of its walls allows for consistent compaction of backfill, so fences and barriers can be constructed adjacent to the wall face. The LOCK+LOAD modular design uses two high-strength, lightweight, fiber-reinforced concrete components assembled into a single, rigid cantilever unit. These units can be used alone to build short walls or in conjunction with soil reinforcement for tall retaining structures.
Nucor-Yamato Steel makes hot-rolled steel-sheet piling products, including PZ22, PZ27, PZ35 and PZ40, using the ball-and-socket interlock the company believes is ideal for retaining-wall projects. The pilings have been used to build floodwalls in New Orleans.
ReCon Wall Systems Inc.’s retaining-wall system allows for gravity walls as tall as 18 feet, saving excavation cost and maximizing useable real estate. Reinforced walls can be used for taller applications. ReCon is manufactured from wet-cast, air-entrained concrete for superior durability.
Redi-Rock retaining walls are suitable for projects that require tall gravity walls and even taller reinforced walls. Redi-Rock’s one-ton blocks stack like giant Legos to harness the power of gravity, so Redi-Rock often doesn’t require reinforcement. Naturally textured Redi-Rock retaining-wall blocks are made from architectural-grade precast concrete.
Soil Retention’s VERDURA fully plantable, segmental retaining-wall system is comprised of concrete block units. Applications range from residential landscaping to commercial edging, tree rings, planter beds, terraced areas to maximize usable land, and walls as tall as 50 feet.
Stone Strong Systems said its system of interlocking blocks and components offers the largest precast retaining-wall block on the market. The hollow design creates a built-in drainage system and maximizes square footage of the block with minimal concrete used. According to the company, blocks can be used as a gravity-wall system as tall as 12-15 feet without the use of geogrid or other mechanical tiebacks and, with proper engineering, may reach as high as 40 feet.
Strata Systems Inc. is the manufacturer and worldwide distributor of Stratagrid, StrataTex, StrataDrain, StrataWeb cellular confinement system and the Sleeve-It system. These soil-reinforcement products are used as internal soil reinforcement in a wide variety of applications, including retaining walls, reinforced steep slopes, highway and rail embankments, landslide repairs, landfills, dams, levees, temporary walls, and other applications.
The Reinforced Earth Co. provides design and supply materials to contractors and owners for mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining-wall systems for use in civil-engineering applications such as highways and roads; bridges; railways; industrial, commercial and public facilities; and hydraulic structures. The company brings its 40 years of experience to address the demand for MSE walls in all applications, including those with difficult geometry, extreme loading conditions, challenging foundation conditions and restricted construction schedules.
Truline combines industry-known steel-reinforced concrete performance with a proven protective vinyl form to preserve the strength of the structure for longer service. The non-corrosive, and uV- and chemical-resistant vinyl protects the concrete from direct water exposure.
Versa-Lok Retaining Wall Systems is the original solid, pinned, segmental retaining-wall system. Versa-Lok is stable and can be stacked is excess of 50 feet high with geogrid reinforcement. The dry mortarless construction means water can pass through the wall joints to eliminate hydrostatic pressure, and the somewhat flexible structure can move slightly, eliminating structural damage from freeze/thaw cycles.