“Gabion” translates to “big cage” which is typically made of steel wire fabric that is welded, twisted, or woven closed once filled. The baskets can be filled with rocks, stones, or even concrete. Ideally, one can reuse material such as concrete from a demolished structure.
While a finished gabion system appears to be monolithic and does indeed provide retention, the wall is also flexible to ensure structural efficiency, and permeable to allow for drainage. Last, if you are willing to put forth your own efforts, collect suitable materials, dig a lot, break and stack stone, and sweat real hard, then gabion walls are quite affordable. Upon completion, this seemingly elemental system will surprise you with its rustic yet undoubtedly elegant appeal. Here’s the basic overview of gabion installation:
A couple of good shovels will certainly do the trick, however a few hours with an excavator will greatly reduce time and energy spent during excavation.
|2) Leveling the ground|
It’s important to make sure your ground surface is nice and level before placing the baskets. While hand levels are, well, handy… a transit is a nifty surveying tool that assists greatly in leveling.
|3) Basket assembly|
Next comes the unfolding and assembly of gabion baskets. This takes patience, but the pay-off will be very rewarding.
|5) Fastening baskets|
This step can be tricky; using zip ties to first close the gaps between seams is extremely helpful.
|6) Backfill if necessary|
A layer of landscaping cloth between gabions and earth further prevents erosion.