Geotechnical Engineering


White Shield has been providing quality engineering services throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 38 years. Our geotechnical engineers are actively supporting our client’s development goals whether the project is a government installation, commercial development, industrial site, residential structure, or a recreational facility. White Shield’s engineering staff has the knowledge and experience to handle the technical challenges associated with geotechnical engineering requirements for a variety of developments or site improvements. Our engineering services we offer include:

  • Geotechnical and Soil Investigations
  • Storm Water Infiltration Testing
  • Seismic Refraction Survey
  • Forensic Investigations for Foundation Failures or Groundwater Intrusion
  • Retaining Wall Design
  • Rockery Wall Design
  • Foundation Design
  • Stream Bank Stabilization


White Shield creates retaining wall designs for home owners, housing developers, and landscape contractors. Different types of retaining walls include rockery walls, large segmental block walls like the Ultrablock walls, small segmental block walls such as the Keystone walls, or even cantilever concrete retaining walls. For walls under 16-feet tall, rockery retaining walls are the lowest cost and easiest to construct. Rockeries are gravity mass retaining walls where the weight of the rock mass retains the soil pressure behind the wall. There are many types of block that are highly decorative that can be chosen to fit your landscape design. The final design and construction must allow support of the lawn, home, garage, or swimming pool that creates a lateral load on the wall. The engineered wall provides a safe and secure environment for many years for the home owners and surrounding community.

Retaining walls may appear to be simple structures, but an inspection of most retaining walls reveal cracks, bulges, leaning, and blowouts. Retaining walls of poor structural design aren’t able to hold back the load behind it, or they have poor drainage. When building on slopes, retaining walls are often required to support a vertical soil cut or soil fill used to create an adequate building pad or even yard space for the home. Normally, retaining wall construction permits and a site-specific engineering design is required for any walls with an exposed height exceeding 3.5 feet tall. We highly recommend engineering analysis and design for your retaining wall project to avoid costly mistakes from poorly constructed retaining wall systems.