Standard Cantilever Retaining Walls

Morton Newman’s reference book is notable because of the breadth of situations covered in the examples. Each example uses a handwritten calculation to satisfy overturning, bearing, sliding, and reinforcement design checks. The examples cover seven types of cantilever retaining walls using concrete or masonry block, and verify walls with backslopes, surcharges, and point loads. Each chapter is then finalized with a summary table and a design detail specifying reinforcing layout.

Standard Cantilever Retaining Walls

The examples are built around standard assumptions on material weights, strengths, pressures, and allowable stress design. Newman also goes on to explain (and use) Coulomb Earth Pressure Theory before simplifying the examples using an equivalent fluid pressure. This isn’t a knock on the content, but the simplification limits the use of “Standard Cantilever Retaining Walls” in a design situation. In addition to the simplifications, the examples also use Allowable Stress Design. This is appropriate for stability checks on the wall, but the reinforcement checks should be verified with Limit States.

The first 40 pages are worthy for review by designers to help organize their workflow. However, if you have the time and determination, you could maybe leverage current technology to reduce the 600 pages down to a 160KB spreadsheet…

One comment

  1. […] This reference simplifies the critical items in design by providing checklists and design examples for the reader to follow. While the examples are nothing more than software printouts, they provide a clearer insight in the calculations compared to an earlier retaining wall reference I reviewed in 2019. […]


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