June 24, 2020


ASDIP RETAIN is a structural engineering software for design of retaining walls. It includes the design of either concrete or masonry cantilever retaining walls based on the latest ACI 318 and TMS 402 provisions.

But how do you actually enter the information in the program? How do you check the results? How do you optimize the design? How do you print out the reports? Following is an overview of the user-interface and the steps required for a cantilever retaining wall design using ASDIP RETAIN.

- Click here to download ASDIP RETAIN free 15-day trial. 

Specify the retaining wall geometry

ASDIP RETAIN includes either concrete or masonry cantilever retaining walls. Specify the stem material in the Geometry tab. For a concrete stem, the thickness can vary with the height (taper to the front or to the back side). For masonry stems you specify the block thickness and the number of rows. A masonry wall extension can be specified on top of a concrete or a masonry wall.

Enter the footing thickness, as well as the toe and heel lengths. The wall footing can be supported directly on soil, or it can be supported on piles. The software shows the corresponding user-interface accordingly. For pile-supported retaining walls, ASDIP RETAIN allows up to three rows of piles. Specify the pile spacing for each row of piles as well as the batter angle.

ASDIP RETAIN generates a summary of the results in the At-a-Glance tab for a quick overview of the retaining wall design as you go. The screen shot below shows the Geometry tab and the At-a-Glance tab.


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Enter the applied loads

Use the Loads tab to enter the applied loads on the retaining wall. ASDIP RETAIN lets you specify the required backfill properties to evaluate the lateral soil pressures, such as density, internal friction angle, and the position of the water table. In addition you can model a uniform surcharge and concentrated loads on top of the stem. When the stem extends above the backfill, a uniform wind pressure can be modeled as well.

For walls in seismic areas, you can specify the seismic coefficients kh and kv and the program will calculate the seismic load per the Mononobe-Okabe theory. Alternatively, a uniform seismic pressure can be specified.

ASDIP RETAIN generates a condensed presentation of the results, organized by topic and load combination, for a quick granular check of the continuous beam design as you go. The screen shot below shows the Loads tab and the Condensed tab.


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Specify the material properties

In the Materials tab enter the material properties for the stem and the footing, such as the concrete and masonry strength, and the reinforcing steel strength. For pile-supported retaining walls, ASDIP RETAIN lets you specify the allowable pile capacity in compression, in tension, and for lateral loads.

ASDIP RETAIN generates a detailed presentation of the results, showing step-by-step calculations organized by topic and load combination, with exposed formulas and references to the ACI code. This is excellent for a deep granular check of the design. The screen shot below shows the Materials tab and the Detailed tab.


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Specify the wall reinforcement

In the Reinforcement tab specify the rebars for the stem and the footing. Alternate stem rebars can be cut off at a certain height to optimize the design.

ASDIP RETAIN shows the pressures acting on the wall and the resulting forces, as shown below. The pile capacity ratios are provided for easy evaluation of the design as you go.


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ASDIP RETAIN generates a plan and elevation views of the retaining wall, as shown below. This graphical views can be used to double check the location of the piles and to evaluate the pile cap based on the provided shear and moment diagrams, which can be sorted by load combination for a granular checking.


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ASDIP RETAIN includes the design of cantilever retaining walls, either supported on soil or supported on piles. The graphical user-interface is simple and intuitive, with multiple options to optimize the design easily in less time. The results are shown instantly in both text and graphic format.

For engineering background, please read the blog post
Cantilever Retaining Walls: Overview of the Design Process. For a design example, please see the blog post Cantilever Retaining Wall Design Example Using ASDIP RETAIN. For our collection of blog posts about retaining walls please visit Structural Retaining Wall Design.

Detailed information is available about this structural engineering software by visiting ASDIP RETAIN. You are invited to download the Free 15-day Software Trial, or go ahead and Place your Order.

Best regards,

Javier Encinas, PE

ASDIP Structural Software

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