Fill material for retaining wall

29 Mar 2011
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West Glamorgan
United Kingdom
HI All,

Somewhat of a random question so don't shoot me for asking!

I am building a retaining wall to form a driveway next to my house (its about 6m from the house). The height being retained is about 1m in existing made up ground forming a bank to the field next door which is about 1m lower than my garden. As the bank varies, in some places the retained height is as small as 40cm.

I am completely over-engineering the wall using existing retaining wall designs that I have for a higher wall. My foundation is around 95cm wide 30cm deep (maybe up to 40cm as the extra m3 delivery isn't much), and the lower part of the wall is currently planned to be block on flat lengthways with another block laid flat sideways to this (so around 67.5cm wide).

My query is, instead of building up in block, as its essentially the mass I am trying to achieve, if I build up a 'formwork' from block to the perimeter of my planned wall (built on the foundation), can I then just infill this with concrete, as it will still achieve the required mass.

If the above is acceptable, can I take it a stage further, and in addition to concrete fill, can I place in the concrete my offcuts, concrete posts and other concrete demo (clean) that I had from an adjacent project (demolishing concrete steps). It seems I would still achieve the mass for the retaining wall, but reduce my need for blocks and disposal of the demolished items.

I appreciate its somewhat unorthodox, and a bit of a bodge, but if I do a decent mix and ensure I'm avoiding any airgaps would this be reasonably acceptable?
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