Strengthened SoilTM is a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE or RSS) wall system with precast concrete panel facing. Soil reinforcement elements are connected to the back of the panels with a positive structural connection. This system is ideal for high walls and heavy loads at vertical or near vertical inclinations. The basic panel finish is a smooth grey concrete but special architectural finishes can also be formed.
The dimensions of the precast concrete facing panels are nominally 2419 mm wide and various heights which stack up to suit each project wall height requirements. The most common panel is nominally 1829 mm high. Soil reinforcement (geogrid) pieces are embedded in the backfill side of the panel and connected on the job site to longer geogrid sections to suit the design requirements of the project. Geotextile strips are placed on the backfill side of the wall facing joints to retain backfill particles but allow water to escape. Lifting inserts are provided in the top of the panels for lifting during installation. Special permanent compressible bearing pads are provided for placement on the top of each panel prior to installation of the next row of panels. These bearing pads between the panels contribute to help make the facing a somewhat flexible system able to withstand some differential settlement. The top of the wall may be finished with a precast or concrete coping cap or barrier to provide a smooth finished sloped line if required.
Vertical retaining walls are usually constructed in areas to save space. Typically the structure delivers advantages in right of way and reduced space that could not be achieved with slopes and embankments. Applications include highways, city roads, industrial, mining structures, residential developments, bridge abutments, lake fronts, streams, railways, sea walls and commercial developments.