This Technical Guidance Note is intended to act as an aide to those seeking to design an unreinforced masonry retaining wall. Following this guidance will prevent cracking and ensure that the wall performs as originally intended.
The note will not cover the design of reinforced masonry retaining walls and variants of that form. Such reinforcement typically strengthens the wall itself against induced bending stresses and the wall's geometry will therefore be somewhat different to that of an unreinforced retaining wall.
The note will also not discuss the applied actions that a retaining wall will be subjected to, nor the construction of retaining walls. These subjects have previously been covered in the following Technical Guidance Notes: Level 1, No. 8: Derivation of loading to retaining structures
and Level 1, No. 33: Retaining wall construction
. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the content of both these notes.