Retaining wall and soil reinforcement in Saudi Arabia

Retaining wall and soil reinforcement in Saudi Arabia

Project Name Wasat Al-Awamya
Client Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Eastern Province Municipality, Saudi Arabia
Consultant ARCADIS Design & Consultancy
Main Contractor Al-Yamama Contracting Company
Location Al Qatif, Al Awameyah, Saudi Arabia
Application Construction of retaining walls with block fascia for Elevated portion in Cultural Center Area and Souq Area of Central Awameyah Development Project
Project size 1164 sqm of fascia area
Product used StrataGrid™ - SGi 40KN, StrataBlocks
Scope of the project Design, supply and supervision

Overview of the project

The government of the Eastern Region was looking for quick rehabilitation program of the buildings of Al Qatif, located in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. This project is a prestigious project as this is one of the cultural and development landmarks in the region. The project value is 238 million riyals, and the total area of the project is 180 thousand square meters.

The client was looking for a technically advanced and innovative technique that can finish the project in a very short span of time. The client was impressed with the geosynthetics technique suggested by MEGS and Strata which also matched with the project architectural requirement and nature of the project.


  • 1. Time constrain: The time allotted was 45 days as the soft opening of the project was scheduled and hence the client needed a fast to construct solution.
  • 2. Weak soil: Due to lack of good quality soil, The Eastern part of Saudi Arabia faces constructional problems. The soil profile is unstable and continuously changing due to severe climate condition.
  • 3. Aesthetically pleasing solution: Since this project is a cultural and development landmark, they needed an attractive retaining wall solution that is complementary to the landscape.

Strata’s Innovative Solution

The challenges associated with project required a geosynthetic approach. Based on the prevailing soil conditions, reinforced soil wall system was the most preferred solution. StrataGrid and StrataBlock units were used for the construction of the reinforced soil wall due to their proven performance and easy installation procedure. The StrataBlock system has been used as it has a built-in-slope, is self-aligning and cast with an inter-locking system. StrataGrid™ is a polyester, flexible, high-performance geogrid used in soil reinforcement that reduces the possibility of the differential settlement due to existence of weak soils in some portions in the foundation soil.

The retaining wall starts from a height of 2m to 5m in Cultural Center Area and Souq Area in the project. Since StrataBlock system does not involve any concrete work (that usually needs certain time until the concrete gets the require strength), a lot of time was saved which helped in speeding up the project.

Strata’s Value Addition

  • The project was completed within 45 days in order to meet the agreed deadline and the soft opening of the project that took place after one month from the date of finishing the walls.
  • Site-won material used as reinforced fill reduced time and cost substantially
  • StrataBlock System is a free-drained system that allow the water to move out of the structure through without need of the weep holes.
  • StrataBlock has a nice aesthetic appearance that matched with the architectural requirement of the projects.

Other advantages include:

Ease & Time saving in Construction:

  • Adaptation with the available infill material (won fill) at the construction site, even the rockfill can be used as a backfill material due to the low installation damage reduction factor of StrataGrid reinforcement.
  • Less sensitivity to the deformation or any potential deferential settlement.
  • Does not require a reinforced concrete foundation, concrete levelling pad without steel rebars are enough since the loads are distributed along the first layer of geogrid.
  • Fully integrated and frictional system depends on the friction between the modular block facing and the grids, secondary reinforcement is placed to enhance the connection between the blocks and the geogrids.
  • Less sequence of installation activities as the backfilling activities can be done during installation of the block facing.
  • Possibility of overlapping the activities of the blocks installation in the same retaining wall.

Economical solution:

  • No need for heavy machineries like cranes for the facing installation as the blocks can be placed manually.
  • Does not require experienced and skilled labors.

Eco-friendly solutions:

  • The system components are not chemically treated material and does not harm the environment.
  • The usage of geosynthetic solutions leads to low carbon emission compared to the reinforced concrete walls.

About Modern Environmental Geotechnical Company

Modern Environmental Geotechnical Company for Engineering is an engineering solutions provider representing Strata Geosystems in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Contact details:
Email id-       Phone (KSA): +966 54 9500 950     Phone (JOR): +962 77 9950 950