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# STEPS IN DESIGNING A RETAINING WALL

## Step-by-step Design of Retaining Wall

1. Establish all design criteria based upon applicable building codes.
. !o"pute all applied loads# soil pressures# seis"ic# \$ind# a%ial or an& others.
'. Design the ste". This is usuall& an interacti(e procedure. Start at the botto" o) the
ste" \$here "o"ents and shear are "a%i"u". Then# chec* se(eral )eet up the ste" +such
as at the top o) the de(elop"ent length o) the do\$els pro,ecting )ro" the )ooting- to
deter"ine i) the bar si.e can be reduced or alternate bars dropped. !hec* do\$el
e"bed"ent depth into the )ooting assu"ing a /0 degree bend +hoo*ed bar-. The
thic*ness o) the ste" "a& (ar&# top o botto". The "ini"u" top thic*ness )or rein)orced
concrete \$alls is usuall& 1inches to properl& place the concrete # 2 inches at the botto".
De(elop"ent length do\$els 3
4 3 1.0 )or 5'#6 #7 bars # 1.' )or 51 #8 and 1.7 )or 52
9 3 "asonr& co(er but less than 7 db
Db 3 bar dia"eter
6. !o"pute o(erturning "o"ents# calculated about the toe botto" edge o) the
)ooting. Assu"e the )ooting \$idth# to be 1: to :';s the height o) the \$all \$ith 1:' being
at the toe.
<

1' . 0
m
y b
f K
f d
=S +o(erturning- 3
MR = su" o) the "o"ents o) )orces tending to resist o(erturning
Mo = su" o) the "o"ents o) )orces tending to o(erturn

O
R
M
M
7. !o"pute resisting "o"ents based upon the assu"ed )ooting \$idth# calculated
about the )ront edge o) the )ooting.
1. !hec* sliding. A )actor o) sa)et& \$ith respect to sliding o) 1.7 or "ore is standard.
A *e& or ad,usting the )ooting depth "a& be re>uired to achie(e an accepted )actor o)
sa)et& \$ith respect to sliding.

d
R
F
F
=S +sliding- 3
F R = su" o) the hori.ontal resisting )orces
F d = su" o) the hori.ontal dri(ing )orces
8. An o(erturning )actor o) sa)et& o) at least 1.7 is considered standard o) practice.
2. ?ased upon an acceptable )actor o) sa)et& against o(erturning # calculate the
eccentricit& o) the total (ertical load. Is it \$ithin or outside the "iddle@third o) the )ooting
\$idth A
/. !alculate the soil pressure at the toe and heel. I) the eccentricit& # e is B/6
( ?3\$idth o) the )oooting- it \$ill be outside the "iddle third o) the )ooting \$idth +not
reco""ended- and because thre cannot be tension bet\$een )ooting and soil# a triangular
pressure distribution \$ill be the result.
10. Design )ooting )or "o"ents and shears. Select rein)orcing.
11. Re(ie\$ the construction dra\$ings and speci)ications )or the con)or"ance \$ith
the design.