Ciaran Reilly & Associates was engaged to design and provide on-site monitoring and support for the construction of bespoke reinforced soil wall system for O’Reilly Concrete, which was required as part of the civil works for the new Supervalu supermarket in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. Reinforced soil walls are made using a composite system of precast concrete facing elements, metal or polymer reinforcements, and selected granular fill. They make economical, aesthetically-pleasing, and readily constructed retaining walls, bridge abutments, waterfront structures, environmental bunds, and materials storage enclosures.

Custom software was developed to implement the coherent gravity design method for inextensible reinforcements for this project. Following detailed analysis of the ground conditions and careful consideration of the geotechnical risks involved, our design report was approved by the client and construction proceeded. The 90m long wall was constructed in a two week window to meet the requirements of the opening date for the supermarket and exceeding expectations for the aesthetic quality of the finished wall. The contractor, Crossdoney Construction, found that the system offered significant cost and time savings compared to alternatives considered such as insitu RC retaining walls or piled embedded retaining walls, and that the wall was delivered on time with the minimum amount of fuss or difficulties.