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Are core filled retaining walls as good as blocks like versawall

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default Are core filled retaining walls as good as blocks like versawall

    Greetings,
    Thank you for any advice that you may have.
    For aesthetic reasons, I would like to have a brick core filled retaining wall. It will be 750mm high, 300mm wide (80 mm filled cavity with starter bars and horizontal bars too ) on a 500mmx500mm footing. It will have 100mm slotted pipe and aggregate for drainage.

    I am unsure that this is as stable as a blocks like versawall and whether the drainage is as good as what versawall can offer. I understand that blocks also allow drainage through the/between the blocks that make it a better choice than core filled brick.

    Can anyone please advise me on this issue.

    Kind regards,

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Hey Bilby, if designed right, then it comes down to personal preference.

    I've done Wood sleepers, concrete sleepers, versa wall type constructions and shortly gabion rock filled walls.
    All have served their purpose flawlessly.

    If I look at the sleeper construction, I've lined most on the inside with plastic to stop soil constantly coming through....which would be similar to your brick construction in that the wall is sealed. Never had an issue as drainage or foundations which are the 2 key areas I dont skimp on. I generally fill a min of 1/3 with a single drainage pipe, scoria and geotextile wrapped over the top to stop soil from gradually blocking up the free draining stone.

    With a versi wall construction, depending on your site, for long walls of your size or bigger, I've constructed similar footings but simply used 20mm crushed rock and used a compactor (wacker packer) to compact in 100 to 150mm increments....and then used a mortar mix under the first row purely to get the blocks level. The first block should be set a min of 1/2 below ground level. You could do the same using packing sand but I've always preferred this method (101 ways of doing the same thing and comes down to preferred choice). These walls with some up around 1200mm high are still there 25 years later and look as good as the day they were built ie: haven't moved. So if you decided to use versi wall type construction, your foundations will be a lot cheaper including no concrete infill or foundations. Crushed rock is 4 to 5 times cheaper then concrete.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Bart1080,
    I've attached an updated plan.
    I've already poured the concrete and the starter bars are in place. I still like brick. But as the plan shows I will be installing a deck and therefore there will only be about 500mm of wall that is visible. As long as it structurally sound, then it really just comes down to cost and aesthetic. Retaining wall Core filled and drainage.pdf

  4. #4
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    ....cant comment if its structurally sound...unknown site variables.

    If it was sleeper construction with steel H beams, I generally go down the same depth or deeper than height. ie: a 750mm wall height would have a 750+mm deep hole and ~1400mm post length.
    Versa bricks....similar to the foundations you've poured but using cheaper crushed rock and most of these walls have a degree of tapper backwards for each row installed

    so for your double brick wall, foundations you've quoted look ok and appear to be the correct min width but as with all foundations, the requirements will vary depending on site/soil conditions. Maybe someone else here can provide you with further feedback.

    1 thing you will definitely need is a Damp Proof course or better still is a water proof membrane installed prior to backfilling. Here is a diagram on what I'm talking about...including the gravel and geotextile membrane
    Last edited by phild01; 21st Apr 2021 at 03:03 PM. Reason: pic link removed

  5. #5
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    Thank you again Bart1080,
    Yes, I will have the bitumen/similar to waterproof.

  6. #6
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Bart, please use the site's image uploader for your images.

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