Concrete Bag Retaining Wall

Using SoluForm Concrete Filled Bagwork to Build a Concrete Bag Retainining Wall

Build a Concrete Bag Retaining Wall

SoluForm concrete filled bagwork is available pre-filled and arrives ready to use.

We currently offer a 32N high strength structural mix within our bagwork products.

The high strength structural mix is designed to form a longer lasting, durable concrete block, suitable for a range of underpinning, scour protection and river walling projects, and works particularly well with steelwork. Our pre-filled concrete bags are ideal for use in the construction of a concrete bag retaining wall.  This structural mix is typically used for schemes specified by Consultants, for more technically demanding schemes, or where there is a need for a longer design life. The high strength mix is available in both the underwater and above water bag options.

Below Water Conrete Filled Bagwork

Underwater Bagwork Product Datasheet

Prefilled SoluForm Underwater Bagwork is ideal for creating a concrete bag retaining wall in and around watercourses.

Below Water Conrete Filled Bagwork

Above Water Bagwork Product Datasheet

Prefilled SoluForm Above Water Bagwork is designed for the hand placement of a concrete bag retaining wall, above the waterline or away from watercourses.

Patented Biodegradable Liners

Underwater bagwork utilises SoluForm’s patented biodegradable liners and enable dry mix concrete to be placed below water, with the use of steelwork, in a clean and environmentally acceptable manner. Alternatively, our water soluble above water bagwork can be useful for dry or out-of-water bagwork applications, or for schemes where either the environmental risk isn’t there, or the risk can be managed. In the absence of surrounding water, above water bagwork is hydrated by either pre-soaking or hosing in situ, dependant upon where the bagwork is placed.

The important considerations when selecting the type of concrete are Function and Design Life. The temptation is always there to put in a low strength, low durability, cheaper concrete mix but the consequence is ultimately a poorly performing bagwork construction with a short design life.

For high value or vulnerable assets, we recommend always repairing and protecting with structural grade concretes.


Steelwork should be included to tie the individual blocks together, helping to create a large singular block of concrete bagwork. Steelwork is important in schemes where protection against scour is needed, or the design life of the blockwork needs extending, to prevent individual blocks from being dislodged.

Steel rebar pins are pushed down through the bags during placement, and can also be used to tie blockwork to other structures, like abutments or retaining walls.

We stock standard sized 300mm long, U shaped, galvanised mild steel rebar pins that are suitable for use with our bagwork. Other thicknesses, sizes and grades of steel can be provided on request, given sufficient lead time.

concrete filled bagwork
Concrete bagwork abutments to a new footbridge
concrete filled bagwork
Typical concrete bagwork headwall
Terracing with concrete bagwork prior to planting

Applications & Uses

In addition to building a concrete bag retaining wall, there are a wide range of other possible applications for SoluForm concrete filled bagwork due to the regular size of the bags which can be hand placed into a wide variety of forms and designs. Typically uses include:

  • Concrete bag retaining walls
  • Structural underpinning of abutments and training walls subject to scour.
  • The formation of scour protection within watercourses.
  • The creation of pipe, culvert or bridge headwalls and retaining walls.
  • The formation of river walls, including repairs to existing walls.
  • The creation of SUDS schemes, to create storage lagoons, etc.
  • Earthwork retention.
  • Embankment stabilisation works.

Why Use SoluForm Concrete Bagwork to Build a Concrete Bag Retaining Wall

  • Simple to use. No specialist skills required.

  • Can be carried and placed by hand.

  • A very cost effective means of placing concrete underwater or near a watercourse, in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.

  • Allow placement of concrete in most cases without the need for dewatering or temporary works.

  • Liners either biodegrade along with the hessian outer bags or dissolve, to leave just the concrete block. No waste is therefore placed in the watercourse.

  • Our underwater liners and hessian outer bags are manufactured from natural, renewable and sustainable resources.

  • Unlike grout bags, no specialist plant or pumps are required to fill or place the bagwork.

  • Several design mix options available.

  • Allows dry mixes to be placed both above and below water.

  • Unlike grout pumping, no mixing or pumping of material within the river takes place, so placement is inherently safer for the watercourse.

  • A highly adaptable system – allowing site personnel the ability to adapt to changes in design, install a solution despite limited information of the problem, or work around unforeseen obstacles.

  • The bagwork product is available “off the shelf” and often available within a few days of ordering.

  • Concrete bagwork is fully carbon neutral

  • EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) Certified by BRE

Design Guidance*

We have a number of standard concrete bagwork wall designs for both in-water and non river applications. These are backed up with design calculations, risk assessments and design check statements and can be supplied upon request.

Non River Designs

In River Designs

Design guidance documents are in Acrobat PDF format.  If you wish to save these to your local computer, please right-click each link and select the ‘Save As’ option.

* Site specific conditions (such as presence of water, slope stability, soil bearing capacity etc.) should be considered by a qualified and experienced civil or structural engineer.

General Assembly Instructions / How to Use SoluForm Concrete Bagwork

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