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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Introduction to retaining walls

Retaining walls are vertical structures that hold back soil or rock: they prevent soil slippage and erosion. In the case of most low walls (less than 6 ft high), gravity or cantilever-wall construction is sufficient, as described below; however, piled walls and diaphragm walls, with or without anchors, are typically used for deep excavations. Many of these retaining structures are faced with stone or brick. However, it can also be attractive to reveal their construction.

Retaining walls may fail by overturning, failure of the foundation or by sliding. There is both a vertical force and a lateral force operating on them, and the combination tends towards overturning. The vertical force is the weight of the retaining-wall ...

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