Although retaining walls have been the subject of two earlier Technical Guidance Notes; No. 8 (Level 1): Derivation of loading to retaining structures and No. 33 (Level 1): Retaining wall construction, their design has not been covered. This guidance note focuses specifically on the design of reinforced concrete gravity retaining walls.
There are three different forms of this type of wall, all of which are designed to resist overturning and sliding failure. The primary difference between them is their height. The taller the retaining wall, the more likely that counterforts and beams spanning between them will be necessary. This note describes how all of these forms of retaining wall can be designed.
(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)