Basic Design
The basic design procedure is similar to that required for all
retaining structures and consists of:
 Determining the geotechnical properties of both the backfill
and foundation materials using soil mechanical methods
 Calculating the coefficients of KA and KP of earth pressure.
 Checking the factors of safety against rotation, sliding and
bearing of the wall.
The following factors of safety are recommended:
 Rotation: 1.5
 Sliding: 1.3
 Bearing: 2.5
In
most walls the factor against sliding is critical but it can be
accommodated by keying the wall and foundation.
Each block weighs 30kg and is increased by 33kg when filled by
well compacted material, having a density 1800 kg/m3 to give a
total of 63 kg. The number of blocks required per square metre
of wall face is 10, thus giving a unit mass of 6.3 KN/m height/m
length.
The soil properties required to calculate the forces acting on
the wall are:
 Density of backfill
 Angle of shear of backfill
 Density of foundation material
 Angle of shear of foundation material
Drainage
Where problems with water are anticipated behind the wall, a
filter drain should be installed at the base of the wall in order
to prevent any build up of pore pressure behind the wall.
In reinforced backfill or clayey conditions the filter drain
should be extended up the back of the wall with an outlet at the
base and so secure free drainage.
The filter drain is best constructed from a mattress of 13mm
concrete stone some 20mm wide/thick surrounded in geofabric.
Foundations
Since Honeycomb structures are built up in interlocking blocks
with no cement agents they can accommodate much differential movement
without endangering the overall stability of the structure. Thus
it has been found that only light foundations are required, provided
they give adequate protection against sliding. The normal foundation
being a layer of concrete some 150mm thick laid to line and level,
into which the first row of blocks is embedded while the concrete
is setting. The depth of the foundation excavation will depend
on the bearing capacity of the soil and depth to afford protection
against sliding. In practice this is usually between 300mm and
500mm in good conditions. The usual measures should be taken by
the designer in cases of unsuitable founding conditions such as
recent fill or collapsing sands.
If the bearing and sliding properties of foundations give difficulties
these can be accommodated by increasing the width and depth of
the mass concrete together with down stand keys or in extreme
cases by a full reinforced concrete solution.
Vertical Walls
Where sections of vertical walls may be required, it is recommended
that the hollow in the blocks be filled with concrete and reinforce
with steel bars if necessary.
