King Post Walls

King post retaining walls are a fast and cost-effective way of building permanent or temporary retaining walls, which are occasionally referred to as soldier piles.

They are formed by installing steel H-beams, Universal Columns (UC’s), or sometimes universal channel sections into rotary bored, CFA or SFA piles and can be used with and without anchors.

Concrete precast, prestressed or timber panels are subsequently installed between them to allow for earth retention.

What are king post walls used for?

King post retaining walls are suitable for most earth retaining structures, typically used for basements, the retention of embankments and slopes and for flood defence walls. Suitable for both permanent and temporary retention conditions.

What are the advantages of King Post Walls?

  • Fast, quiet and virtually vibration free
  • Cost effective system for use in hard ground
  • Versatile retention system easily adapted to variable rock levels and changes on site
  • Can be used in combination with ground anchors
  • Seamless transition for follow on construction activity
  • Locally sourced and recycled materials can be used as infill panels
  • Precast panels can include architectural features
  • Cost-effective alternative to sheet piling or contiguous, secant or sheet piled walls due to reduced pile numbers
  • Suitable for permanent and temporary retention
  • Can be used with or without anchors

Common Uses

  • City center basements
  • The retention of embankments and slopes
  • Flood defense walls
  • Construction of acoustic fences
  • Isolated columns can be used as a bearing pile for the permanent structure

The construction of a kingpost wall begins with the drilling of a hole typically at 1-3m centres using a variety of drilling and piling rigs from large rotary to high powered CFA to restricted access piling rigs. The option of piling rig will depend upon local ground conditions and access constraints. Site constraints permitting, the steel H piles can be driven directly into the ground depending on soil conditions

King post walls are installed by drilling a hole using the Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) technique, rotary bored, or SFA installing piles along the line of the wall, with spacing dictated by the width of the wall panels.

Isolated steel H-beams are then installed within the concreted hole to level and height as dictated by the design. Timber sleepers, beams, sheet piles, steel panels, pre-stressed and precast concrete panels or timber panels are subsequently installed between the webs of the H sections as excavation proceeds forming an embedded retaining structure.

Illustration of Van Elle King Post Wall installation
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