I’ve decided to do a series on the different types of retaining walls. Since the subject is so interesting and there are so many different types, I know you are dying to know everything there is to know. So knowing that, let’s jump right in to our first topic.
While although it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the gravity wall is a simple and common type of retaining wall. Most gravity walls are going to be found in gardens, but their function allows them to be used in many different situations. The concept is simple, this type of retaining wall just uses its mass (stone, concrete, or other heavy material) to resist pressure from behind. To put it scientifically, a retaining wall is a structure designed and constructed to resist the lateral pressure of soil when there is a desired change in ground elevation that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil.
The problem with Gravity walls is that if the pressure is too high behind the wall, it could fall over. But typically that would have to be a lot of pressure or a very large wall. Unless the wall is designed to retain water, It is important to have proper drainage behind the wall in order to limit the pressure to the wall’s design value. Smaller jobs like for gardens or medium sized walls should not be an issue.