A gabion is a large cage-like box typically filled with rocks, sand, or concrete. Gabions can be cylindrical at times, depending on their intended use. They are extremely useful in landscaping, road construction, military applications, and civil engineering applications such as dams and erosion control.
This article is going to expose you to more knowledge about gabions. It will focus on the importance of gabions, some factors you need to consider when constructing one, the different types of gabions and their maintenance.
Factors to consider when constructing a gabion
1. The ground on which the gabion is to be constructed
On a ground that has poor bearing conditions, a gabion with a more extensive base should be built to even the pressure at the base.
2. The labour intensity
Some gabions require much more labour than others. Therefore, it depends on the type of labour available.
The durability of a gabion depends on the quality of the materials and equipment used in its construction. When high quality materials are used, then a more durable gabion is guaranteed.
4. The cost of construction
The cost is usually one of the basic factors people consider when constructing. Depending on the materials to be used, the cost can be high or low. There are cheaper materials one can use during the construction of gabion boxes through its lifespan are usually reduced compared to the alternative.
5. Available resources
Depending on the location where the gabion is to be constructed, some resources are more available than others. For instance, some places have a lot of stones readily available. In this case one should consider constructing a stone gabion rather than a sand gabion.
Types of gabions
1. Gabion sacks
These sacks are constructed by twisting galvanized iron twice. They are usually, wire meshed baskets that appear cylindrical. They are primarily used in the prevention of soil erosion and river training.
2. Gabion wire mesh
The main purpose of gabion wire mesh is to prevent falling of rocks and stones on roads and also railways.
3. Gabion baskets
This type is well known compared to the others. They are made by filling baskets with stones. They are placed on slopes to regulate soil erosion.
4. Gabion wall
Gabion walls are more advantageous since they require less maintenance and their cost of construction is a bit lower.
5. Gabion mattresses
Gabion mattresses, just like the other types, prevent soil erosion. However, these gabions have heights that are a bit lower than the other gabions. Their main principle of performance is strengthening of a large area rather than lifting it.
Advantages of gabions
- They are environmentally friendly since the material used for their construction is usually recycled
- The gabions are flexible in case of need to adjust in the future.
- Most materials used are natural, hence economical.
- They play the role of drainage pipes since they are permeable.
- Their installation requires a lot of labour and can be very tiring.
- If not installed properly, the gabion can fall, increasing soil erosion.
- It can be costly in cases where a high quality mesh is required.
Gabions play a significant role in environmental conservation. Environmental conservation has a positive impact on other activities such as food production. Gabions are easy to install and maintain due to the immediate availability of resources required for their construction.