Landscape Design Software by Idea Spectrum
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Adding a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are often used on steeply sloped lots and terraces to provide support and prevent erosion. Retaining walls can also be freestanding and act as partitions between various parts of your landscape.

To add a retaining wall:

1.   Click Add Retaining Wall.

2.   Draw the retaining wall's outline by clicking to add points. Press Backspace to remove the last point. Press Esc to cancel.

3.   Right-click at the last point when finished. (Or, to create a closed retaining wall, click the first point when finished.)

The following is an example of a retaining wall being drawn.

Below is the completed retaining wall.

Adjusting the Shape of a Retaining Wall

The height of the wall can be adjusted at each point. This allows you to add retaining walls of many different shapes and sizes to your landscape designs.

To modify the wall height:

1.   Select the retaining wall.

2.   Click Edit points to enable editing of the retaining wall's points.

3.   Select a point where you want to adjust the wall's height. (You can add additional points if needed for finer control.)

4.   Set the desired height. (You can also use the mouse to adjust the height of the selected points by holding down Ctrl while moving the mouse up and down. See Editing Points for details.)

Below is a sloping retaining wall that was made by adding a point in the middle and increasing its height.

Using the Cut Terrain Feature

A powerful feature of Realtime Landscaping Architect is its support for retaining walls that realistically cut into the terrain. This is useful when designing landscapes with large slopes and other varying topology.

To cut into the terrain:

1.   Select the retaining wall.

2.   Select Edit > Terrain Sculpting Order > Bring to Top. This will ensure the retaining wall cut is applied after the underlying slope is applied.

3.   Click the Cut terrain option to enable terrain cutting.

4.   If the cut is on the wrong side of the wall, click the Reverse cut direction option.

5.   Adjust the height of the wall at each point as needed to achieve the desired cut.

Creating Terraces

You can use retaining walls to create terraces on your sloping terrain.

To create terraces:

1.   Create the desired slope using the terrain topology tools. See Sculpting the Terrain for details.

2.   Add a retaining wall for the lower terrace level. Configure the retaining wall to cut the terrain as described above.

3.   Set the Height property to the desired height of the terrace level. Or, use the Auto wall height property to calculate the heights automatically based on the surrounding terrain.

4.   Add a new retaining wall for the next level and set the Elevation property. This will typically be 0' for the first level, a larger value (such as 2') for the second level, etc.

5.   Repeat for each level.

The following example uses two retaining walls to create a terrace which has been used as a flower bed.


      When using the Cut Terrain option, also use the Auto Wall Height option to automatically calculate the height of the retaining wall based on the surrounding terrain.

      Adding retaining walls is easiest in the plan view.

      Be sure grid-snap is enabled, or it will be difficult to build your wall using exact dimensions. See Snap Settings for more information.

      If you just want a small wall to use as edging, you might consider using Edging instead.

      If your retaining wall isn't cutting into the terrain as expected, it may be because you added the terrain objects after the retaining wall. To control the order that terrain sculpting objects are applied, see Controlling the Terrain Sculpting Order.

See also:

Retaining Wall Properties
Setting Object Properties
Selecting Objects
Editing Points
Editing Objects
Sculpting the Terrain

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