First of all you need to realize that retaining walls do not have to look like retaining walls. For instance some retaining walls can become much more aesthetically pleasing if they are made in a semi-circle or perhaps even in an octagon. Of course the primary reason to utilize a retaining wall is to hold back ground that might otherwise fall down a slope or perhaps in order to coordinate water flow, or prevent soil erosion on your property. It will of course create a change in your ground elevation, which some landscapers utilize to create an area of visual interest.
Any retaining walls constructed, needs to have proper drainage installed directly behind the wall. This is done in order to limit or border the pressure that will be felt by the wall. This kind of pressure is referred to as hydrostatic pressure, and thus it is important to select a properly trained landscape architect in order to construct it such as Open Earth Landscaping a very highly respected and exceedingly well-educated landscaper in Vermont. Such a landscaper will understand the dynamics of being able to improve the stability of the land and other materials behind the wall. Sometimes, drystone is utilized as a retaining wall since it is more often than not actually self-draining.
The designer of such a wall may suggest a gravity wall. Simply put its efficacy depends on the weight of its mass, thus usually some heavy material will be used, such as concrete or stone. A gravity wall is called that because it actually leans back into the soil it is retaining.
Or, a design from Open Earth Landscaping may reveal that you are best off with a cantilevered retaining wall. This is especially made possible if it is a relatively short wall, and many like it because it utilizes much less material.
If you are expecting the need for an anchored retaining wall, this too is possible. These are referred to as tieback or geotechnical walls because they utilize cables, which are bored into pressurized concrete. You will see this kind of retaining wall on commercial locations where high loads can reasonably be expected.
There are many other methods of holding back retaining walls. For instance, among those are soil nailing, soil strengthening, gabion meshes, as well as mechanical stabilization. Which of these will be utilized depends a lot on the erosive forces of the area as well as internal movements, such as in areas subject to a lot of trembling from perhaps automobiles passing or even in earthquake zones where soil liquefaction is a constant concern.
Your Open Earth Landscaping architect can cover the various means available to do the job correctly. Depending on the job, the effective stress will be taken, as well as the soil classification, and they will take into consideration the pore water pressure, the void ratio, the bulk density, and of course the porosity of the bearing retaining walls constructed for you. Most importantly having a landscape architect means that you will definitely have the correct foundation for your retaining walls.