July 4, 2018


ASDIP RETAIN is a structural engineering software for the design of retaining walls. It includes the design of cantilever retaining walls supported on piles based on the IBC / ACI 318 provisions. This document is a step-by-step design example of a typical retaining wall on piles using ASDIP RETAIN.

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

Retaining wall on piles example

As an example, consider the retaining wall shown below, which is part of an access ramp in a parking garage building. Due to the poor soil conditions, the soils report has recommended the use of steel piles HP12x53, with the shown maximum allowable loads. Design the wall.


Design Steps

1.- Enter the geometric dimensions of the wall. In this case, the stem height is 11'-0". Let's try a stem thickness of 12". Since the wall will be supported on piles, let's specify a footing thickness of 30". The minimum spacing between piles should be 3 pile diameters, so the footing length should be about 6 ft long, leaving 1'-6" edge distance each side. The At-a-Glance tab shows a summary of the design for a quick overview of your work as you go.


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2.- Enter the loads on the wall. The backfill will be a select material with density = 120 pcf and internal friction angle = 30 deg. Enter the surcharge and the concentrated loads given as part of the problem. The Condensed tab shows a more complete set of results grouped by topic, great for a more detailed overview of your design.


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3.- Enter the material properties, which include the allowable capacity of the piles in compression, tension, and lateral, as given in the soils report. The Detailed tab shows a complete set of calculations with exposed formulas and with references to the ACI code.


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4.- Enter the rebars in the stem. The vertical rebars can be cut-off at a certain height to optimize the reinforcement. The Stability tab shows graphically the pressures and forces on the wall, as well as the pile reactions per load combination, and the pile capacity ratios.


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5.- Enter the reinforcement information for the footing. The Graph | Footing tab shows graphically the pile cap in plan and elevation views, with the factored loads and the shear and moment diagrams per load combination.


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ASDIP RETAIN includes the design of retaining walls supported on piles, with multiple options to optimize the design easily. This real-life example shows that the design can be completed and optimized within minutes.

For engineering background please see the blog post Retaining Walls Supported on Piles: A Design Overview. 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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