Soldier piles have existed since the 18th century and are one of the oldest forms of deep excavation retaining wall systems. Some of the earliest systems were used in construction in Berlin, London, and New York. When timber lagging and steel piles are used in construction projects, they're often referred to as the Berlin Wall.
Where Soldier Piles Are Used
Soldier piles and lagging walls are used globally in deep excavation construction projects. Soldier piles are the preference of construction companies since they're easy to work with, the cost is lower than other methods, and construction time is cut down. Concrete piles or circular steel pipes may be used, but soldier piles are more cost-effective. Soldier piles are used in residential and commercial construction and repair and on archaeological digs.
Are Soldier Piles and Lagging Installation the Best Option?
Soldier piles and lagging walls are less expensive than other types of retaining walls. Construction is faster and cheaper than other types of retaining systems. Lagging walls aren't complicated to construct and work effectively for short-term construction projects. The construction crew has control over how the materials are laid out. The installation is versatile, and adjustments can be done in the field. More advanced construction procedures aren't necessary for construction.
Soldier Piles and Lagging Installation Aren't Always Appropriate
Soldier piles aren't the best option for projects in areas with high water tables. Materials in the ground and rock can penetrate the upper layers of soil when there's excess water below the upper layer of soil. Since soldier piles are primarily for short-term construction projects, they aren't as secure as retaining systems like sheet piles.
The Bottom Line
The primary difference between soldier piles and other retaining systems like sheet piles is that soldier piles are spaced between 5 and 10 feet apart and intended to be temporary. They're filled with lagging, usually made of shotcrete, metal plates, or wood. Constructing these retaining systems should always be done by a professional contractor. One of the best features of soldier piles is excavation and installation can be done in small stages. The systems are easy to construct and less expensive than other types of retaining systems.
If you need retaining wall support for your residential or commercial property, reach out to Park Range Construction. We would be happy to help.
Published on 1-10-2023