/ Directory / Specification Section: 2018 Retaining Wall and Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Guide

Specification Section: 2018 Retaining Wall and Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Guide

Parul Dubey on October 29, 2018 - in Directory, Retaining Wall, specification section

Retaining walls, MSE 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.


Boulderscape Inc. is a leader in the installation of both structural and architectural shotcrete wall finishes nationwide. BSI specializes in more than 93 styles of shotcrete wall finishes from geology, masonry, Class A flat wall finishes to artistic imprints. BSI has installed more than 9.8 million square feet of wall finishes over a variety of retaining wall systems such as soil nail walls, soldier pile walls, sheet pile, lagging, secant, caisson and cast in place walls.
Steve Jimenez
[email protected]

Hayward Baker

Hayward Baker, a Keller company, provides the complete range of geotechnical construction techniques and design-build services for the construction of temporary or permanent retaining walls. Geotechnical construction solutions can include excavation support, slope stabilization or remediation of existing retaining walls.

Hayward Baker designs and installs all types of earth retention techniques including anchors, gabion systems, micropile slide stabilization systems (MS3), secant or tangent piles, sheet piles, soil mix walls, soil nailing, sculpted shotcrete, and soldier piles and lagging. Hayward Baker has in-house design capabilities and is highly experienced and knowledgeable in earth retention, enabling us to successfully and efficiently perform common applications as well as complex soil-structure interaction projects.
Jeffrey Hill
[email protected]

 Soil Retention

VERDURA® is a fully plantable retaining wall system that provides the strength and function of a standard retaining wall with the added ability to sustain live plantings. VERDURA® blocks are made of low moisture absorbing concrete that will not deteriorate over time. Because of the high shear strength from the lip of the block, VERDURA® allows for soil compaction directly behind the blocks, facilitating the use of heavy construction equipment within close proximity to the wall face. VERDURA® applications include hillside development, bridge abutments, channel walls, detention basin walls, screen and sound walls.

Soil Retention has been manufacturing, designing and installing VERDURA® retaining walls throughout California for more than 25 years without a failure! VERDURA® is Caltrans approved up to 40 feet!
[email protected]

Allan Block Corporation

Allan Block is a leading provider of patented retaining wall systems for any commercial, roadway or residential project. With more than 30 years of experience and hundreds of millions of square feet of Allan Block in the ground, we can deliver quality and performance. Our vast knowledge and experience has led us to have training as our top priority, with our courses offering continuing education credits. Our AB Contractor Certification Classes, Best Practices Engineering Presentations and AB Walls Design Software tutorials are always in high demand. Offering the largest library of tools available in the industry to plan, design and build retaining walls that include 3D designs, estimating and design Apps, video installation, design details and much more from allanblock.com. Contact us for your next project to ensure success.
[email protected]

Anchor Wall Systems

Anchor Wall Systems provides the latest innovations in concrete retaining and free-standing wall systems. Commercial and residential outdoor areas of any size can be transformed with Anchor™ wall products. The shapes and textures of our wall systems blend with the environment to create attractive and functional landscape wall features. Our elegant walls are the perfect addition to any landscape design, and their durability and ease-of-installation make them a great choice for anyone.
Alex Diaz
[email protected]


AquaBlok Ltd. provides a range of fine-grained powder-coated materials that address a variety of geotechnical sealing and sediment remediation applications. Highly versatile, AquaBlok® products are used in anti-seep collars/trench dams, pond/basin construction and repair, cut-off walls and dam rehabilitation, synthetic liner repair, and more. AquaBlok uses a patented “composite particle” system that consists of coating limestone aggregate with the highest-quality powdered sodium bentonite clay. By doing this, AquaBlok has Built a Better Bentonite™. These materials provide targeted delivery, simplified handling, structural stability, reliable durability, and a consistent seal. Blanket over permeable soils without blending, stop seepage around pipes and control structures without compaction, and so much more. Apply dry during construction or through standing water. For more information, visit www.aquablok.com.
[email protected]


Creative Pultrusions

Creative Pultrusions Inc. is a manufacturer of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite sheet pile and piling products.

SuperLoc® sheet pile is an alternative to aluminum, concrete, steel and wood, and will not corrode, decay or spall, which reduces maintenance costs and future replacements. Available in 6”, 8” and 10” high sheets.

SUPERPILE® piling products were developed to replace steel, wood, concrete and thermoplastic piles. They are extremely lightweight, high strength, easy to fabricate and have a lower installed cost. Available in 10”, 12” and 16” diameters.
Corey Sechler
[email protected]
814-839-4186 Ext 291

Filtrexx GreenLoxx® Living Walls

Filtrexx GreenLoxx Living Walls are a sustainable, regionally sourced approach to saving land by preventing shoreline and bank erosion. GreenLoxx is an excellent alternative to retaining walls built with conventional block or concrete systems as they offer reinforcement capabilities in addition to sustainable and aesthetic features. GreenLoxx is an all-in-one system that will quickly establish vegetation and grow stronger over time. This long-lasting solution uses the existing slope and contains more growing media than other options.


• Creek, stream, and river bank stabilization

• Steep slope stabilization and erosion control

• Pond, lake, and marsh shore stabilization


• Rapid vegetation

• Prevents erosion

• Quick installation

• Lightweight components

• Natural & sustainable materials

Discover more about our proven and easy-to-implement stabilization solutions at:
[email protected]


Geopier Foundation Company is the industry leader in providing efficient, cost-effective ground improvement solutions for the support of structures. Through continual research and development, we’ve expanded our system capabilities to meet virtually all of your foundation system challenges.

Geopier systems are preferred replacements for massive over-excavation and replacement or deep foundations, including driven piles, drilled shafts or augered cast-in-place piles. Thousands of structures around the world, including buildings, tanks, MSE walls and embankments, are supported by Geopier technologies.

Our local engineers work with you to understand your project’s geotechnical and structural needs, and to engineer a project-specific solution that keeps both performance and value in mind. With multiple Geopier systems available, ground improvement solutions can be developed for virtually any structure and any soil and groundwater condition.

Work with Region Engineers worldwide to solve your ground improvement challenges.
[email protected]

IES – QuickRWall

Design your retaining walls quickly and with complete confidence in QuickRWall. This tool provides the power and flexibility to check cantilever, gravity, or restrained walls made of reinforced concrete and/or masonry block. The software provides complete calculation details including sketches, graphics and reports that look (and check) like hand calculations. You will handle all kinds of soils, lateral and surcharge loading, seismic calculations, and restrictions on footings due to property boundaries.
[email protected]

Keystone Retaining Wall Systems

Throughout the 30-plus years Keystone Retaining Wall Systems has been in business, we and our network of producers have become the world’s leading source of retaining wall and landscape site solutions, and a leader in the development, marketing, and sales of these solutions. Keystone products are available around the globe, with distribution channels and production facilities in almost every state in the United States and more than 35 countries.

Keystone Hardscapes has evolved since we started, and it is now a complete hardscape line featuring Keystone’s trusted retaining wall solutions, patio stones, pavers, edgers and outdoor living elements such as fireplaces, kitchens and fire pits. Visit our website for inspiration, design guides, installation and specification manuals, and to view our full line of concrete masonry products.
John Schramm
[email protected]


LOCK+LOAD is a unique patented retaining wall technology that is available through licensees worldwide.

The LOCK+LOAD modular cantilever design is independent as well as self-anchoring. A major factor is that it allows for consistent backfill compaction all the way to the wall face. Uniform adequate compaction is key for MSEW wall construction. Also, paving, fences, and barriers can be constructed adjacent to the wall face.

LOCK+LOAD components are wet-cast from high strength, air entrained, reinforced concrete and simply lock together for easy construction.

LOCK+LOAD is a proven facing for any retaining structure; MSE, soil nail/anchor, H-pile or GRS walls.

Available in various formed finishes. LOCK+LOAD is formed in recycled plastic molds and provides guaranteed performance.
David Ash
[email protected]


Maccaferri’s Terramesh System is a modular system used to form rock faced MSE walls with a gabion basket facia and double-twist wire reinforcement. The system’s lid, facing and reinforcing panel are woven into a single unit. Each gabion fascia unit is filled with rock and structural backfill placed on the soil reinforcement mesh and compacted. On taller slopes and structures, it can also be used in conjunction with our high-performance primary geogrids: ParaLink, ParaGrid and MacGrid WG. For a green option, Maccaferri Green Terramesh provides a similar level of reinforcement, however, these units are lined with an erosion control blanket to encourage the growth of vegetation. Both systems are manufactured and shipped with all components mechanically connected at the production facility, providing a quicker installation process than other MSE wall systems.
Amanda Cole
[email protected]

MacLean Civil Products

MPS Civil Products is part of MacLean-Fogg, a diversified international manufacturing enterprise with more than half a billion dollars in sales. A result of the acquisition and merger of Joslyn, Dixie and Foresight, the three most-prominent soil anchor manufacturers, MPS Civil Products is now one of the leading suppliers of steel deep foundation systems for use in residential, commercial and marine applications. Our comprehensive product line for residential and commercial applications includes engineered solutions for tension, compression and structural stabilization in many different soils. When Quality and Service is your focus, Solutions are the result.
Dennis Poteat
[email protected]

MMFX® Technologies, a Commercial Metals Company

MMFX® Technologies offers high-strength concrete reinforcing steels (Chr¯omX®) with varying levels of corrosion resistance. Designers leverage the high-strength efficiencies by aligning the structure’s corrosion protection requirements with the targeted service life. 

Utilizing the high strength of Chr¯omX rebar (Grades 100 and 120), designers reduce construction costs, shorten build times, resolve rebar congestion issues, enhance site safety and improve sustainability. Building codes and design guides supporting high-strength designs are available through the ACI, ICC, and AASTHO.

Chr¯omX rebar’s uncoated, corrosion resistance is derived from the steel’s chemistry and microstructure rather than fragile coatings, resulting in a bar that can be handled and fabricated like conventional rebar, without the risk of damage, repair or inspection problems.
Salem Faza
[email protected]

ReCon Wall Systems

ReCon Wall Systems Inc., along with its family of more than 50 licensed producers, provides a wide range of wet-cast retaining wall products. By focusing on providing solutions and adding value, ReCon has carefully crafted and engineered each of its blocks to serve a specific purpose. With an industry-leading number of block depths for gravity walls, and an efficient, tested and proven option for MSE walls, ReCon is the ideal solution for even the most challenging grade-separation project.

ReCon offers five distinct face textures, each having its own unique natural or cut-stone appearance. To allow owners, architects and engineers increased flexibility, ReCon has a full line up of freestanding and column blocks to accompany its broad variety of retaining wall blocks. For more information, visit reconwalls.com.
Michael S. Klotthor, P.E.
[email protected]

Redi-Rock International

Redi-Rock International is the leading big block retaining wall company with more than 130 manufacturers across North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Middle East. Redi-Rock retaining walls utilize blocks weighing one ton each. The massive scale of the system allows walls to be built much higher than other systems without using geogrid or tie-backs. Taller reinforced retaining walls can be designed with our geo-connector. Redi-Rock’s product line includes retaining walls, freestanding walls, columns, caps, steps and more to create a multitude of design options for both commercial and residential projects.
[email protected]


RISAFoundation is the ultimate tool for analysis and design of a variety of different foundation types—all within an open modeling environment. RISAFoundation designs retaining walls as well as two-way mat slabs, spread footings, grade beams, piles and pile caps. The addition of punching shear checks, rebar design, and international codes make it the smart choice for engineers.

RISAFoundation includes extensive functionality for the design of retaining walls, including the ability to design partially or fully grouted masonry walls, the ability to consider seismic loading, the ability to batter concrete walls and the option to automatically re-calculate pressure coefficients assuming an “at rest” condition, all while including retaining walls in the material takeoff.
[email protected]

SRW Products

SRW Products is an expert in retaining walls. Free preliminary designs help you prepare accurate retaining wall estimates. The Pros Guides are “how-to” books that show how to bid, plan and build quality retaining walls 8 feet and under. Stamped Engineering is designed for walls under 8 feet and available through Hardscape Technical Services. We also supply low-cost building options, like our Earthworks Retaining Wall System. No concrete footings, no mortar, no kidding! SRW Products also offers top-of-the-line hardscape products, leading the way to better, stronger, longer-lasting projects. Product lines include Adhesive, Fabric, Geogrid, Sealers, Cleaners, Polymeric Sand, Erosion Control, Wall Systems & Engineering, Concrete Fibers, Diamond Blades, and more. Visit SRWProducts.com for all your retaining wall needs.
[email protected]

Tensar SierraScape

The SierraScape® System is a cost-effective structural solution to challenging grade separation applications. Its heaviest manufactured component weighs less than 35 lbs. for 15 SF. Mechanical geogrid-to-face connections allow the system to be stacked vertical and filled with stone, or designed with setbacks, allowing for planting ledges or a vegetated face. The 75-year service life system is an option for almost any wall project, but it is unequalled in pressure relief wall applications or where settlements are anticipated. Call Tensar’s nationwide team at 800-TENSAR-1 for a proposal, free preliminary design assistance, peer reviews, or a full-stamped SierraScape design for your next wall project.
Steve Luptak
[email protected]


VERSA-LOK is the industry’s original solid, top-pinning segmental retaining wall system, offering unequalled design versatility and ease of installation. Available in the classic split-face or a vintage Weathered texture, VERSA-LOK Standard can create walls, curves, multiangle corners, stairs, and freestanding walls and columns without specialty pieces or cores to fill. Or select from VERSA-LOK Cobble, Accent, Harmony and Ultra systems, which can work in concert with the VERSA-LOK Standard units to create natural-looking designs. The VERSA-LOK Mosaic system can be used to build stunning random-pattern walls to 50 feet or taller. When you need economy, VERSA-LOK Square Foot and Nexus will do the job and look great. Heavyweight options VERSA-LOK Bronco, Bronco II and Brute have the heft and coverage to tackle any job. VERSA-Green is a unique, plantable wall system.
[email protected]

WestBlock Systems

WestBlock Systems develops patented dry stacked concrete products and architectural faces for use in landscape, hardscape, structural earth retention and fencing. Products can be utilized in most every niche within the segmental retaining wall and fence markets. A primary goal of WestBlock Systems family of products is to provide efficiency and flexibility in manufacturing, installation, and structural design. Alignment systems feature both pinned and pin-less configurations. Face textures provide for Abraded Face, Forged, split and smooth face options. Structural systems include multiple depth gravity structures, single depth gravity, and M.S.E. Hardscape systems for below and above ground use, capable of creating outdoor living features including: above and below grade wall, parapets, planters, columns, ramps, stairs, 90 degree and radius corners, and vertical and battered walls.
[email protected]

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