Reinforced earth wall structures are a system whereby mesh layers are introduced into the soil backfill as a reinforcement to provide stability.
The system can use mesh, gabions, concrete block or panels as a facing.
Designs of these structures are in accordance with BS8006 – ‘Code of Practice for Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills’.
These types of walls are normally considered where the structure is in a fill situation, otherwise it will be neccesary to excavate base widths greater than what would normally be required for a mass gravity structure.
The types of mesh reinforcement selected can be geogrid (polymer mesh), woven wire hexagonal steel mesh (same as rock netting), welded wire steel mesh or steel strap/ladder systems.
Normally for gabion faced walls, the units are stepped back at each course to give an effective face slope of no greater than 70 degrees which brings the structure into the geotechnical solution rather than a structural solution where the face inclination is between 70 degrees and the vertical.
These are the requirements of the Highways Agency.