What Is a Wale in Construction?

March 22, 2024

When it comes to the structure of a retaining wall, walers play a key role in its stability and support. The walers transfer the pressure of the soil to the shored sides of the construction, preventing the wall or excavation from collapsing or shifting. This is essential when the construction needs to be able to support heavy loads or deep excavations.

A wale can be made of timber or steel. Timber walers are typically made of pressure-treated lumber and are commonly used in shoring or underpinning construction projects. Steel walers, on the other hand, are often made of steel beams and plates and are more commonly used in permanent retaining walls and heavy construction projects like excavations. They’re stronger and more durable than timber walers, though they can be more expensive to install.

In some cases, a metal tieback rod is attached to the wale by passing through the sheet pilings. If the wale is not properly constructed, the tieback rod’s end and fastener may protrude from the wale and cause damage to any structures or objects that come into contact with it. To address this problem, the wale can be formed with countersink holes that prevent the tieback rod’s end and fastener from protruding past the face of the wale.

Real estate investors are often looking for commercial properties with long WALEs, or weighted average lease expiry. A longer WALE indicates that the income streams from the property are secure into the future and can help mitigate market risk.

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