Retaining Walls: Taking It From The Top

by Antonio Jose da Costa Nunes, Pres.; Tecosolo S.A., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Roy E. Hunt, (F.ASCE), Technical Consultant; Tecnosolo S.A., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 5, Pg. 73-75

Document Type: Feature article


Since 1958, fully anchored curtain walls have been used increasingly to retain slopes in Brazil where topographic, climatic, and geologic conditions are extremely favorable to landsliding and mass wasting. The wall consists of a thin slab of reinforced concrete tied-back into the hillside with earth or rock anchors. Anchored curtain walls provide high retention capacity and can be anchored at as many points as desirable. The method has been used successfully to construct walls over 83-ft. (25-m) high. In Brazil, these walls are constructed from the top downward, so the slope can be cut and continuously retained. This construction procedure is known as the Brazilian Method. Top-to-bottom construction eliminates the need for underpinning when there are structures near the top of the excavation. For foundation excavations, shoring and bracing are not required and the excavation remains free of obstructions.

Subject Headings: Slopes | Excavation | Retaining structures | Curtain walls | Developing countries | Reinforced concrete | Topography | Climates | Brazil | South America

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