What are Geogrid Reinforced Retaining Walls?

Geogrid reinforced retaining walls – also known as Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) retaining systems – are load-bearing composite structures consisting of compacted backfill materials and geogrid layers for soil reinforcement. 

Their integrated system includes big block retaining walls that protect against soil erosion and support heavy or active loads above by reinforcing soil and further strengthening the wall.

These retaining walls expand land development projects and stabilize pressures caused by parking lots, structures, roadways or bridges above the wall. 

Widely considered the most cost-efficient way to build large retaining walls, geogrid retaining wall designs use geogrid material – an engineered fabric typically made of polypropylene of different strengths and sizes – to help retain earth.

Geogrid reinforced retaining walls are a methodically engineered system comprised of:

  • Geogrid reinforcement material

  • MagnumStone concrete retaining wall blocks

  • Reinforced engineered soils

  • Effective drainage channels

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Advantages of Geogrid Retaining Walls

  • Less Geogrid Layers, More MagnumStone Strength

    Our 2 ft. (0.61 m.) high standard blocks require less layers compared to shorter blocks and SRWs

  • Superior Drainage Channels for Extra Protection

    Safely and effectively remove rainwater and run-off from behind geogrid walls with the block’s hollow core offering horizontal and vertical internal drainage zones

  • More Geogrid Tension & Resistance with Hollow Cores

    Our system’s hollow core design is filled with drainage gravel that can provide added connection between the geogrid, blocks and internal drainage column for maximum porosity

How Do
Walls Work?

Working in tandem with MagnumStone’s concrete blocks, each layer of geogrid is strategically measured and placed between the vertical rows of big concrete blocks. Securely pinched between the top and bottom retaining wall courses with precise installation techniques, the approved engineered soil is then backfilled and compacted behind the wall for maximum strength. 

The blocks, soil and geogrid all work together as a system to effectively retain the earth structure. Certified labs test connection capacities of geogrid and blocks, commonly known as “Connection Capacity Testing”. These critical tests are used in engineering software programs to plan and design retaining wall projects.

Common Applications for Geogrid Retaining Walls:

  • Tall Retaining Walls - The sky is the limit, geogrid wall heights can fit your imagination

  • Land Expansion & Development – Cut Walls & Fill Walls extend usable property space

  • Performance Under Pressure – Build strong, durable walls with heavy and active loads

  • Stormwater & Erosion Solutions – Contain, redirect and manage any water applications

  • Bridge Abutments & Wing Walls

  • Seawall Protection

When to Use
Geogrid for
Retaining Wall

Is geogrid necessary for your retaining wall project? MagnumStone’s free, comprehensive Retaining Wall Design & Analysis Software examines all key factors including heights, loads, soils and even seismic, to verify if geogrid is required. If so, the geogrid strength and length is automatically determined. Various methodologies are used for the engineered retaining wall systems, which include NCMA, AASHTO, EUROCODE, LRFD.

Retaining walls over 6 ft. (1.82 m.) high typically require some form of geogrid reinforcement. Geogrid retaining walls are more cost effective than the labor intensive process of building large footings for rebar and poured concrete, also known as cast-in-place concrete walls.

Geogrid Retaining Wall Design Considerations:

  • Structures Within the Wall – Piping and Utilities

  • Heavy Loads

  • Slopes Above and/or Below

  • Soils Types

  • Global Stability & Seismic

Geogrid Solution

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All related documents for this design option are listed here, or to view our entire downloads catalog click here

Geogrid Wall Case Studies

Every MagnumStone project has a story behind it, not just backfill and drainage channels. Our extensively library of detailed MagnumStone case studies feature impressive versatility and retaining wall successes.