A mass of reinforced soil is gradually built up while working from the top to downward. In order to keep the soil from caving in between the bars, some sort of facing needs to be installed. This is generally made with some shotcrete reinforced by a welded wire mesh. This facing can be vertical, battered to a wide variety of angles, or made up of a series of benches.
The passive bars are often referred to as "nails" and the soil reinforcing technique is known as "soil nailing."