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Retaining wall construction: when things go wrong - a short case study.

Retaining walls are commonly used in Perth particularly on subdivisions and land development. If the construction is undertaken in accordance with the certified structural engineering documentation there will be no issues with the performance or durability of the wall. However, if even minor details are omitted during construction it can lead to costly rectification works.

In this example, a subdivision project in the Perth Area consisted of the following terraced arrangement:

  • Lower retaining wall 2400mm high;

  • Middle retaining wall 2400mm high;

  • Higher retaining wall 1500mm high (existing prior to the subdivision works)

Terraced panel and post retaining wall

Shorlty after the construction of the retaining wall was completed it was noted that the middle retaining wall was deflecting excessively (leaning forward). The builder contacted us to inspect the retaining wall and to provide third party advice.

Visible forward movement in the middle retaining wall

We produced a report detailing our findings, highlighting the non-compliance with the engineering specification. In this case however, the builder requested an engineering solution to rectify and “anchor” the middle retaining wall. The solution that we provided was effective and this resulted in a successful project.

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