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Retaining wall guidance update needs industry support

Construction industry research organisation Ciria has responded to demand from the geotechnics industry to update guidance for embedded retaining walls but is calling for the sector to financially support the project.

The C580 Embedded Retaining Wall – guidance for economic design document was published in 2003 and needs to be updated to reflect developments over the last decade.

“The existing document is not flawed but greater understanding of the performance of these structures gained from major projects and adoption of Eurocodes since the publication in 2003 means that C580 needs to be updated,” said Ciria associate Chris Chiverrell.

Ciria has already raised £40,000 towards the £200,000 needed to fund the 18 month development project and Chiverrell hopes to be able to start work on the update within the current financial year.

“The need to update the document was identified five years ago and users have repeated the calls at GE’s conferences since 2010 but the impact of the recession made it difficult to launch the project,” added Chiverrell.

Once funding has been secured, the project will start with an industry workshop, open to funders and invited contributors, to develop the scope and depth of the new guidance.

The original C580 guidance, developed jointly by Ciria and Arup, expanded on the 1984 R104 document that covered the used of embedded retaining walls in stiff clays and included other ground conditions.

According to Chiverrell, the outline scope of the new guidance has been developed with Arup and will expand the guidance to cover all soil types, 2D and 3D numerical modelling design techniques, king post wall design, seismic design considerations and reappraisal of in-situ stress conditions. The guidance is also likely to be extended to include support methods for embedded retaining was all that form part of an underground structure such as buried jet grout props/rafts and ground anchors.

Full details of the proposal are available from Ciria.

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