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    How Retaining Walls Work In Commercial Construction Projects

    Retaining walls for commercial properties are often constructed on a much larger scale since these types of projects are relatively bigger compared to simple landscaping walls. Having this in mind, you have to use proper retaining wall placement and construction methods.

    Largely constructed for their aesthetic beauty, these walls are designed to hold the soil around your property, preventing it from eroding away from your building’s foundation. Common materials used for commercial retaining wall construction include poured concrete, precast concrete blocks, natural stone, and bricks.

    Retaining walls work in various ways in construction depending on the location of the property, and the environmental conditions around your property. Building a retaining wall for a commercial building requires proper planning to avoid it being hazardous to both the physical well-being of the property and the property’s suitability for the business.

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    Major Functions

    1. Soil Retention

    Soil is an active part of any project that cannot be neglected. It may seem intact but there are several forces of nature that constantly act on it, weakening it with time. Water is the main agent. Other forces that can result in the soil around your property being weakened are frost action and tectonic forces.

    Retaining walls are primarily used to retain the soil around your property. Depending on the amount of excavation conducted during the construction of your property’s foundation, you may need to construct a strong load-bearing wall that prevents the soil from sliding or eroding away from the foundation or towards the building.

    Your commercial project includes an allowance for a parking lot. If the land around the property is on a higher level, you risk having the soil pushing back towards the parking lot if you do not have a retaining wall around it. This can turn into a disaster quickly!

    For you to successfully achieve proper erosion control with retaining walls for commercial properties, you have to conduct a significant amount of surveying around the property and carry out site preparation works to ensure the structure will not fail after installation.

    2. Drainage

    You definitely do not want water flowing into your property. Places such as your basement, parking lot, or office and retail spaces could potentially be at risk. Retaining walls can help you control the runoff water around your property.

    As you plan your commercial construction project, make an allowance for the control of the flow of rainwater around the property. The water can be well managed, and the risk of flooding avoided if the retaining walls are installed properly.

    The retaining walls work by channeling runoff water towards designated places. This also works well if you are planning to install other water features around your property such as fountains or swimming pools.

    3. Aesthetics

    Retaining walls are vital in giving your landscape design some vibrancy. You can be as creative as possible with your garden. The wall creates a barrier and makes the garden easy to manipulate to your taste. It can also be used to level out an area for a decorative garden.

    A retaining wall can be used to divide and organize the yard around your commercial property, making it more appealing to the eye. The slope of your yard will determine how many walls you need. Different flowers or plants can be planted in the various layers.

    If the area around a commercial property is beautifully organized, more customers are attracted to the property.

    Building And Zoning Permits

    Zoning regulations dictate standards such as the size and location of structures within and around properties. They also determine the acceptable uses for your property. Make sure your project is compliant with the relevant zoning rules.

    For the construction or alteration of any retaining wall that is more than 12 inches (30.48 cm) from the ground, a zoning permit is required. A building permit is required for walls taller than 4 feet (ca. 122 cm), measured from the base of the wall.

    You won’t need a permit if the top of the overhead structure is at least 50% open and has no member wider than 2 inches (ca. 5 cm) and cannot accumulate ice or snow.

    Before you commence your commercial construction project, you should know the regulations that would apply to that particular project or property.

    Proper Wall Design

    For a retaining wall to function well in a commercial property, it has to be designed properly. Poor design can cause structural failure. Poor design can lead to the accumulation of water behind the wall, leading to structural failure due to the accumulated hydrostatic pressure.

    Part of the wall design is the type of plant life that are present in the surrounding gardens. It is not advisable to plant trees since their roots can expand and grow into the walls and jeopardize the structural integrity of the wall. Instead, you can plant small flowers and bushes to avoid compromising the wall.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you are planning to construct a retaining wall for its aesthetic value, to provide drainage, or for soil retention, you have to use proper wall construction methods. You cannot afford to make a mistake working on such a huge project.

    Commercial entities have one main goal; to maximize profits and minimize expenses. Therefore, make sure the construction of the retaining wall is cost-effective and not overly expensive.