Friday, 13 July 2012

Doesn't anyone know how to build a proper retaining wall any more?

I see this with alarming regularity. This is a parking lot, quite a long one, the wall being about 50 cm high, and the whole thing is being pushed over. Which at some point will likely require an extensive and expensive and inconvenient rebuild.

If the Romans figured out long ago how to build a proper retaining wall, why can’t the knuckleheads who built this and so many others I see like it, learn from them? A retaining wall needs to be angled on the back side and a bit of an angle on the front side is good too, to prevent the force of all that earth it’s meant to be holding back from pushing it over. Like is happening here. Do the people who build these not know how to do it right? Do they just not care? Are they such unscrupulous low lifes that they figure they’ll pull a fast one on the client, who will then have to pay again a few years or decades down the line to have it repaired/rebuilt? Or do the clients think they are going to save money by having an inferior job done?

The building code in this province is a massive tome. I’m tempted to see if there is anything in it covering the construction of a retaining wall. If it doesn’t, shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t a building inspector say something about a wall like this, which is guaranteed to fail?


  1. Thomas, Thomas, Thomas. Don't you understand? That right there is what we call 'Job Security'. I see it all the time.

    1. obvious, and so damn depressing.