A retaining wall is a wall built to hold back soil. It is required to support soil where a sloping site requires excavation and either there is insufficient room or it is impractical to batterA batter is an embankment where the ground is cut at an angle to make the surface stable. Rock can be cut at a much steeper angle than sandy soil. the soil.

this picture contains following scene. Diagram with a batter excavated. Diagram with a retaining wall.

Retaining walls over one metre high must be designed by a qualified structural engineer. The engineer designs the retaining wall so that it is able to resist soil pressures and is a stable structure.

Failure of retaining walls

The diagrams show three ways in which failure of retaining walls is likely to occur. See if you can match the type of retaining wall failure to the appropriate diagram. Select and drag a title box underneath the relevant picture.