Why Retaining Walls?

Retaining walls have shaped civilisation.

Retaining walls have shaped civilisation.

Retaining walls are a common sight in the city of Brisbane. With the rolling topography of this hilly city and crowded housing market, finding that level housing block may not only be difficult, but expensive.  Land developers will often install retaining walls to increase the amount of usable land on a block. Clearing space for where the house will have the foundations laid, and for play and recreational areas. Retaining walls may create space for level driveways to be created, or on larger properties a retaining wall may be an integral part of a pond or dam system. Smaller scale versions on suburban blocks may create space for fishponds and be instrumental in creating space for aquaculture. The massive buttressed walls that hold back megalitres of water in our dams are a kind of retaining wall and are built using the same engineering principles of load bearing wall structures, the only difference is that a dam wall cannot be porous for obvious reasons, whereas a retaining wall for earth must allow water through so that the pressure it holds remains relatively constant.


It is not only in Brisbane that you will see different types retaining walls serving a variety of different purposes.  Retaining wall technology is integral to the words food supply. The vast rice paddies and stepped hills of China and throughout south east Asia are a clear illustration of the value and importance of retaining walls. The vast amount of food that is produced in these areas are enough to feed millions of people and would not be possible without the use of retaining walls. In any mountainous region human civilization would have been greatly hampered with out the use of retaining walls. Small communities use the gardens made possible by retaining walls to feed their village. Throughout the Andes range of mountains in South America the use of retaining walls to create stepped pastoral land is ubiquitous. It is on this stepped farmland that you will see Llamas grazing and crops of potato and colourful corn grows in abundance. Nothing is wasted here, the Llamas are used for wool, milk, meat and leather, so too with the land, not a square inch is unused. The ancients had created a vast system of stepped farmland that their descendants still use today.

Retaining walls are nearly everywhere that human civilization has left its mark. Although one is less likely to find a retaining wall on vast plains or salt flats. As human population growth increases and arable land for food production dwindles and housing becomes scarce we will find the use of land reclamation techniques like the construction of retaining walls more and more prevalent.

Humans are an innovative and expansionist race and have utilised a wide variety of technologies to create practical solutions to the difficulties of managing and maintaining resources. Land management is foremost in the deployment of modern engineering feats and enormous advances have been made in retaining wall technology.

For all of your domestic retaining walls Brisbane or Landscaping needs please contact http://mylandscapingbrisbane.com/

Thankyou for reading this article

Jamie Grant

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