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Concrete or Segmented Block. Which is better for a retaining wall?

Date Posted : June 10, 2024

Posted in : News and Events

Moore & Sons has recently built an engineered concrete retaining wall in Langley to level a property that is backing onto a steep ravine. The concrete wall was constructed with an extra wide footing stepped up into the grade.

Building a Foundation You Can Trust!

When it comes to a retaining wall construction, there are usually 2 primary options: segmented blocks or concrete. The reason we did not use segmented block in this scenario is the ravine. The banks of the ravine are constantly, although minimally, moving downward due to steep slope and rain water runoffs, and it can eventually cause segmented walls to dip.

There are ways to build segmented walls on steep slopes like this but it requires extensive and deeper digging, as well as compaction testing. So, had we decided to proceed with segmented blocks, we would have needed to create the geogrid sections that are at least twice the height of the wall needed, which would have meant 16’ digging in order to construct an 8’ wall. In contrast, the same 8’ high concrete wall with 6.5’ wide footing on 1,500 pounds per square foot subgrade of sand and gravel can achieve the desired result.

All necessary preparation steps we took before concrete pour, as well as our formwork, were praised highly and approved by both the geotechnical and the structural engineers, followed by the successful inspection by the city.