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RE: Retaining Wall Sliding

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It has been a while but if I remember correctly, Digital Canal was also being conservative.  The programmer sent me some information based on “Practical Foundation Engineering Handbook” by Robert Wade Brown.  The programmer knew there were less conservative methods of considering friction and cohesion but he felt the conservative approach was the way to go.  In this particular case, I did not want to go the most conservative way although in general I would probably choose the conservative method when dealing with soils and concrete.  However, I think the program should have been written in a way that would allow me to make that decision.


Roger C. Davis




205 N. Dewey St.

Eau Claire, WI 54703

P (715) 832-1605

F (715) 832-7850


-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Tornberg [mailto:ed(--nospam--at)]
Thursday, September 01, 2005 5:13 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Retaining Wall Sliding


RetainPro is driving me nuts today.


A retaining wall footing is to be poured on a stiff clay excavation. 

My two bookshelf references -

            Foundation Design and  Analysis, by Bowles, 5th ed, Fig 12-12

            NAVFAC Design Manual 7.02, Fig 15 et. al

CLEARLY indicate that adhesion may be combined with friction in developing sliding resistance (as well as passive pressures).


RetainPro allows only one or the other. 

Same with the values on IBC Table 1804.2


What is wrong?  Can anyone confirm that they combine adhesion and friction in design?  Are there other retaining wall programs that allow it?


Ed Tornberg

Tornberg Consulting, LLC