Berliner Verbau - Soldier pile walls

Soldier pile walls represent a development of timbered trenches and can be used as retaining walls even for large excavation pit depths in almost any soil type above the groundwater table. The following sketch shows the components of soldier pile walls.

Structural elements of a soldier pile wall are, as shown in the picture:

  • soldier piles (HE-A, HE-B, HE-M, U-shaped profiles)
  • infill (usually timber) with wooden wedges
  • steel waling and steel struts
  • possibly grouted anchors (for systems anchored back into the ground)

Soldier pile walls are used as retaining walls for a temporary securing of excavation pit walls above the groundwater table.

The “Berliner Verbau” was developed at the beginning of the 20th century during the construction of the Berlin subway. Since the predominant soils in the Berlin area, sand and gravel, are easy to drive the piles in, the soldier piles can be placed very accurately in their planned position in the ground. If no working space is required, the excavation pit wall can be used as formwork for e.g. a tunnel construction. This eliminates the need for a larger working space between the structure to be built and the retaining wall. For deconstruction the soldier piles can be pulled out again, the timber infill, however, remains in the ground.

To the following topics, which are superordinate to the glossary entry "Soldier pile walls" – and thus also refer to the entry “Berliner Verbau” - explain:

  • construction methods for soldier pile walls,
  • profiles of the soldier piles and the infill,
  • static systems,
  • necessary verifications,

Please refer to the glossary entry "Soldier pile walls". A video explains how to use the computer program GGU-RETAIN to carry out necessary verifications for soldier pile walls for the example given below.

Do you want to get started directly with the design of "Soldier pile walls"? Just one "mouse click" will take you to the license variants of the software solution: GGU-RETAIN.

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