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Retaining wall eng.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by neversatisfiedj, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    I need a wall engineered . Any good companys in baltimore ?

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    You'll need soils engineering before the civil guy can build you any working drawings.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Most of the wall engineers around here are familar with the soils.

    And never satisfied - did we just have this conversation a few months back!

    Your block supplier should be able to put you in touch with a dude.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    "Most of the wall engineers around here are familar with the soils."

    Very novice assumption on anyones part to say the least..

    Being familiar with the soil and knowing it's exact compostion are two very different things. Without a compehensive soil study no engineering can be accurate. Composition, soil stacking angle, cohesion. Then load, then application. Those are the criteria needed to plug any segmental wall into a program to do the calcs necessary to tell you how to build it. After you begin and all your earth cuts are made, then the soils guys come back and test hardness as you build it. They start at the footing trench, then go to the back of the wall in the footing within the grid zone.
    Pulling random numbers from the atmosphere on what one speculates the soil may or maynot be is a great way to design a wall to fail before it is built. I can't imagine any engineering firm we have ever worked with not requesting a soil study first. You might find one that does it all in house, but again, that's two different types of engineering.

    Make sure if you get a wall engineered that the person you are building it for pays the engineer directly and you keep that part completely out of your draws. That way if there is a problem you can't get dragged into the middle of the mess because no money went through your accounts. Unless of course you pay for designers E&O insurance that includes retaining walls. I would also check your liability policy to see if it has exclusions for retaining walls. It's an easy thing to miss, and can cost you dearly if you have an issue.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Very True Bill.

    I was just trying to give a short and sweet initial reply :) Not write an article. Because once one contacts a competent individual, that individual, being competent, will know how to handle it.

    Maryland is a very small state, a lotta networking. And usually the wall engineer is a geo-technical engineer. (at least thats the status of my brother-in-law who is a geo-technical engineer in VA) And geo-technical engineering is soils! Usually once someone that is in the know looks at a site, they know what / who to involve :)

    Didnt meant to ruffle your feathers :)

    Without knowing details, I felt a short and sweet reply was best, and I stand behind it!
  6. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    My supplier threw out GW stevens as a name - Can't find a number for them. This wall is ore than 4 ft high so I will need one. I have never done one this scale so please bear with my novice questions.
  7. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    What kind of blocks are you using? I agree that contact your block dist. mine has put me in that direction when needed. However, i build rather a lot of them and never had to supply a drawing for one only 4' .
  8. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    ok - just looked at the job. Commercial. 7 ft at the highest peak. 85 feet long.
    I want to use Versa-Lok square foot block. 8"x18" block.

    480 blocks
    couple boxes pins
    54 caps
    8 tons of crusher run
    50 tons drain stone
    3 boxes glue
    1 roll perf-pipe
    1 roll pipe sock
    1 engineer ??
    whole lotta labor ;)
  9. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 402

    If you are using Versa-Lok, ask them who you are getting it from. We use versa-lok all the time and we go directly throught them and they have engineers on hand. ASk them and see what they have or would refer.
  10. How about using a timber crib wall ? very easy to install, very cost effective, can be engineered to suit your requirements.. and is guaranteed for 60 years.
    take a look at www.timbergrid.com

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