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Like the rest of Southern California, San Diego County has a number of active earthquake faults. The Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) industry has evolved significantly over the last three decades, which is a given considering the industry did not exist 30 years ago. On the contrary, design professionals saw exceptional performance on soil reinforced segmental retaining walls and reinforced slopes when they were exposed to seismic loading.* The first published seismic design methodology came from the NCMA (SRW Seismic Design Manual, 1st Edition, 1998). The tests also illustrated that minimum grid lengths of sixty percent (60%) of the height of the wall were adequate, but extending the top grid length to ninety percent (90%) of the height of the wall provided a bridge between the reinforced soil mass and the retained soil. AB Walls 10 seamlessly designs Allan Block retaining walls in both static and seismic conditions by simply entering the seismic coefficient for your site.
A slope above a wall steeper than the internal friction angle of the soil indicates the slope above the wall is not naturally stable. If the project location requires a seismic analysis, the Mononobe-Okabe (M-O) soil mechanics theory provides designers the seismic earth pressure coefficient to apply to their retaining wall. The Keystone Century Wall Retaining Wall is crafted specifically for taller wall structures and heavy loading conditions where aesthetics are paramount, Keystone Century Wall retaining wall offers the distinctive appearance and character of a random-pattern, natural stone retaining wall. RCP Century Wall Units are manufactured with a single row of pin holes, no set-back pin positions available. Azar Builders specializes in hillside repair by building retaining walls and providing appropriate drainage to stabilize a sliding slope.  Click on the thumbnails below to see some of our work.

Hillside has constructed millions of square feet of retaining walls in Southern California. Since 1995 Hillside Retaining Walls has specialized in the design and construction of a variety of wall solutions for our customers. We not only build retaining walls, but we have also worked with many clients to design and construct drainage solutions for sub-surface drainage problems, design and construct slope and landslide repairs, as well as grading for sites that incorporate cuts and fills for our Retaining Walls.
The 40 acre site, adjacent to Interstate 5 in Northern San Diego County, was just what the Academy was looking for.
Obviously, the design of the retaining walls required involvement from all engineering parties contracted for the project. It suggested that the seismic loading be applied to the wall in the form of an inverted triangle, which focused most the load at the top of the wall.
During the fullscale testing, it was clear that actual load distribution was not focused at the top of the wall as defined in the NCMA design manual nor was it dependant on where the reinforcement was placed as presented by the FHWA.
Counties include San Diego, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Imperial, Kern and San Luis Obispo. Not all customers and projects are the same - the wall solutions cannot be the same either. See the case study for the Hartley residence where Hillside designed and built 3 different wall systems (Keystone, Vista DSM & CMU) for the site to meet specific applications, or the Mammoth Profession Center in Corona where Hillside designed and constructed Earthstone Walls, Keystone Walls and Cast-in-place Walls, contracted for the grading, the street improvements, the site drainage and wall waterproofing.

And when designing retaining walls in this seismic region, an additional dynamic load must be considered. This hillside lot could have easily been overlooked, but Allan Block retaining walls with heights reaching 50 ft (15.2 m) enabled a beautiful, functional, and fast paced project to be completed. This may be translated to say that for specific combinations of slope angles, soil strength and seismic acceleration the project changes from a segmental retaining wall design to a slope stability problem. Hillside does not just build one type of wall - Earthstone Walls, Keystone Retaining Wall System, Anchor Retaining Walls, Allan Block Walls, Lock + Load walls, Verdura Walls, CribWalls, Vista DSM Walls, Cast-in-place Walls, Manta-ray Anchor Reinforced Walls, Masonry Walls (CMU), are all wall types that Hillside crews have built. Yet knowing this, it did not stop the construction of one of the tallest segmental retaining walls in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) came along with a variation that also looked at the location of geogrid layers, which actually penalized the designer for concentrating grid layers near the top of the wall.
An excepted practice to model the engineered slope is to simply add an equivalent live load surcharge above the wall for the remaining slope. Any need you have Hillside can help you design the best and most cost effective retaining wall solution.

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