What is a Retaining Wall?

Retaining wall is a structure needed to maintain two different soil levels by retaining soil on one side that would otherwise move down towards the other side. It must adequately retain soil behind it and adequately transfer the loads back to its footing.  Retaining wall design often considers applied gravity load.


What is a Seawall?

Seawall is a soil retaining wall along a shoreline with the purpose of defending the shoreline against wave attack.

The integrity of retaining walls can be compromised by excessive hydrostatic pressure behind the wall, short term pressure variation due to a water fluctuation event, poor water drainage, or simply lateral movement of soil against the wall. Such factors will eventually crack and deform retaining walls leading to costly retaining or seawall repair. Proper soil grouting and wall drainage system installed on the back end of a retaining wall is often required by retaining wall design to minimize damage and can extend the life and integrity of any retaining wall. Also, a dead-man anchor system, or a soil reinforcement mesh can be effective solutions to secure an unstable wall, or secure a wall in an unstable soil environment.

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Whether it is a retaining wall construction or a seawall repair,  at Universal Engineering, our structural engineers are experts in advanced soil mechanics, soil structures and concrete foundation design to provide cost effective design and/or remedy solutions (view past projects) .  Our analysis consists of the following procedures:

1 Collect and/or calculate the structure loading data including wave and tide data for seawall design.
2 Investigate and determine soil structural characteristics (typical foundation inspection).
3 Based on (1) and (2), select an appropriate retaining wall system or identify the best remedy plan.
4 Based on (3) perform the proper analysis and provide a cost effective solution for retaining wall design, retaining wall repair, seawall repair or seawall design.
5 Develop the necessary drawings and prepare the permit package if necessary including seawall construction plan.

Recognizing the critical and urgent nature of retaining wall system design and repairs, we strive to utilize the company´s

capabilities especially in soil characterization and soil structures design to maximize the following key benefits:-

  • A sound procedures performed by certified and experienced professionals and supported by technical personnel.
  • Geotechnical engineers with strong expertise with soil structures.
  • Knowledge and experience with soil performance under hydrostatic pressure and hence providing the best design of a drainage system.
  • Accurate field data, detailed analysis, and cost effective long term solutions.
  • Drawings and reports for permitting and for other client’s purposes.
  • Detailed cost estimates including materials, labor, and equipment.
  • Administration of retaining wall construction and seawall construction.

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(561) 204-5000

8721 Wellington View Dr. West Palm Beach, FL 33411

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