Retaining walls – These are walls that retain soil or soil banks & are utilized to create usable space which can’t be done by sloping the ground surface because it will fail.
There are multiple ways that retaining walls are constructed. The most frequent ones which are utilized are in general order of cost are reinforced system Soil Sloped Walls, Steel Sheet Pile Walls, Concrete Modular Unit Gravity Walls, Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls, Soldier Pile, & Lagging Walls, and last but not least Cast-in-Place Reinforced Concrete Wall.
From the least to the most expensive wall kind there is over a five-fold difference in the installation costs. Additionally to costs, the other factors that are considered include the wall system’s workability with the site & the appearance of the wall. Possibly considered in the selection of the wall.
Example photos of these different types of walls. In the selection of the most appropriate retaining wall kind for a project, a geotechnical engineer with sufficient experience in this area should be consulted.
Causes for Building Damage
There are multiple reasons for building damage, however, they can be broken up into 3 primary categories. Those causes are environmental conditions, material/structural defects, & ground movements.
Climatic and seismic (earthquakes) are the environmental 2 subcategories: Climatic conditions that can cause damage to the structure are primarily in the form of wind, temperature, and precipitation. More typical cases of building damage from climatic conditions consist of temperature straining, material freeze & thaw, wind damage, and catastrophic weather (e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding).
The 2nd category of material or structural defects consists of flawed constructed materials or elements which result in unintended damage. The 2 main subcategories of this cause of damage involve improper design and defective installation. Examples of damage from improper design could involve underestimating building loads, inappropriate building elements, missed load or deformation concentrations, poor run-off drainage, and selection of improper materials such as the wrong concrete type. Defective construction could involve, for instance, poor honeycomb or weak concrete, missing reinforcing steel bars, missing or faulty welds, curing cracks due to improperly poured concrete, etc.
The next primary cause is related to ground movements. The different subcategories of ground movement that most typically result in building damage contain soil settlement, landslide, soil/rock heave, land subsidence, earthquake shaking, and associated ground failure. Land subsidence damage mainly involves sinkholes & surface depressions in karst terrain, from underground mining, & settlement from soil collapse from water saturation. Even though earthquake shaking alone can result in building damage, foundation failure can also result from ground failure in the form of settlement, soil liquefaction, and landslide (including lateral spreading).
In case you are confronted with building damage, it is important to contact the appropriate experienced forensic engineer who knows the Paraweb in re wall. In multiple cases, a qualified structural engineer would be the most appropriate initial investigator to assess the nature of the damage & provide the proper direction to determine the cause.