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Ground anchors secure clay bank whilst building retaining wall

Location: Sussex
Approved Installer: Underpin & Makegood
Reference No: PR226

A 3m high retaining wall at the rear of a Nursing Home in St Leonards, Sussex, was cracked and displaying signs of failure. To avert the possibility of a dangerous collapse, the wall was to be demolished and replaced but while this took place the ground behind the wall needed to be cost-effectively retained. The chosen solution was to use ground anchors supplied by Helifix.

The old wall was carefully removed in stages by Helifix Approved Installer, Underpin & Makegood, and the clay ground behind was then checked for any buried services and their locations marked to ensure they were not affected when the anchors were installed. Based on earlier site tests, the Helifix geotechnical engineer had calculated the shear strength and thrust of the clay ground and specified three equally spaced rows of anchors installed at 700mm centres.

Prior to the installation of the anchors a double layer geosynthetic membrane was positioned over the entire embankment to spread the load of the anchor plates and to protect the soil. The anchors were then driven into the ground, at a 20° angle, 5m on the top row, 4m on the middle row and 3m along the bottom row and the termination plates fitted before being loaded to 16kN in order to provide a 1.5 safety factor.

Once the bank was secured the new retaining wall was constructed in front of it to provide a safe a secure patio area for the residents of the Nursing home.