Excavation and Retaining Works

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Soils Mechanics, Foundations, Reinforced Concrete and Steel Structures.

Teaching Methods

Theoretical classes with presentation of the concepts and theories related to the topics being studied, with the inclusion of simple examples of application and the reference to real cases of study. The objective of these classes is to transmit knowledge that supports research and the solution of practical works to be developed by the students. On the classes, importance is given to student interaction, cooperation on problem solution and also to the presentation, individually or in group, of topics taught previously and that are essential for the understanding and assimilation of the subjects proposed in this curricular unit.

Tutorial classes aimed to the accompaniment of the work and/or projects proposed to each group of students.

Field trips to job sites, to provide the students with direct contact with real works.

Learning Outcomes

To provide the students with a thorough training in the conception, design, construction and monitoring of various earth retaining walls.

Work Placement(s)



1. Rigid retaining walls

Earth pressures theories; lateral earth pressures in static and seismic conditions; main types; conception and constructive aspects; external stability and structural design.

2. Flexible retaining walls

Main types; conception and constructive aspects; earth pressures and design of the diverse structural components; external stability; induced movements; monitoring.

3. Mechanical stabilized earth walls

Mechanisms of mobilization of the pullout resistance; types of reinforcement; conception, construction and design of walls constructed using reinforced earthfill and of walls constructed using soil nails.

Assessment Methods

Avaliação Continua
Avaliação Continua: 100.0%


• Matos Fernandes, M. (1994) – Estruturas de Suporte de Terras, FEUP.

• Matos Fernandes, M. (2011) – Mecânica dos Solos - Introdução à Engenharia Geotécnica, Vol. 2, Edições FEUP.

• Almeida e Sousa, J. (2008) – Apontamentos de Estruturas de Suporte Flexíveis, DEC-FCTUC.

• Puller, M. (2003) – Deep Excavations: pratical manual, Thomas Telford.

• NP 1997 – Eurocódigo 7 – Projeto geotécnico.

• LCPC 1979  - Les ouvrages en terre armée: Recomendations et régles de l´art.

• FHWA, U. S. Department of Transportation, USA, 1998 – Manual for design and construction monitoring of soil nail walls