The importance of retaining walls is often underestimated. What about the ads on the radio – “it’s alright, my landscaper is an LV member”, unfortunately that will be of little assistance if something goes wrong with the retaining wall they ‘design’ and build. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing our landscaping contractors – more so, I’m trying to illuminate the fact that retaining walls are a structure, not just a landscaping feature. The consequences of a failed retaining wall will be certainly costly, possibly litigious and potentially lethal.
In Victoria, a building permit needs be obtained prior to the construction of any retaining walls that is greater than one metre in height. Retention structures which are near or on title boundary will also have a requirement to ensure that the assets of your neighbours will not be adversely affected by the construction of the retaining wall. This requirement will often dictate the design and type of retaining wall construction.
Retention structures come in a range of flavours, from the common sleepers type, to reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete, precast concrete or a range of sophisticated types for basements.
If you are planning on a landscaping project which incorporates retaining walls we would recommend making an allowance for the engagement of a structural engineer and geotechnical investigation by suitably qualified and experienced professionals.
FC Design can assist you with your project, be it retaining walls for your landscape project or the basement of your dream home! Call us to discuss your needs, don’t leave it to your landscaper!