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This British Standard code of practice applies to the design and construction of structures to retain soils and materials with similar engineering properties, at slopes steeper than those which they would naturally assume. It provides guidance for a designer, conversant with theoretical and applied soil mechanics and experienced in structural design and construction. The code is applicable to walls with a retained height of up to about 15 m.

This code of practice is divided into four sections.

Section 1 explains the factors influencing the choice of a retaining wall.

Section 2 describes the site and geotechnical data that is required together with material properties. It gives guidance on the determination of the values of representative soil strength necessary for design purposes.

Section 3 identifies the design philosophy and the design methods for earth retaining structures, including the determination of earth pressures and the analysis of overall stable equilibrium.

Section 4 considers various individual types of structure and application of earth pressure theory together with matters of construction and maintenance.

The main changes in the design of earth retaining structures in this code of practice are:

a) the recognition that effective stress analysis is the main basis for the assessment of earth pressures with total (undrained) stress analysis being important for some walls during or immediately following construction;

b) the need to take account of the effect of movement (or lack of it) upon the resulting earth pressures on the wall.

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