Content of the article:
Gabions are multifunctional and universal constructions. They are containers of strong wire or durable metal mesh, filled with stone, rubble or other materials. The word "gabion" has a foreign origin. Translated from Italian, “gabbione” means “large cell”.
Initially, gabion frames were woven and resembled baskets in appearance without a bottom. They were used, starting from the 16th century, in military affairs for the erection of fortifications. Since the end of the XIX century, these prefabricated structures began to be used in construction. Without them, the construction of dams, bridges and retaining walls could not be done, slope strengthening, slopes and bank protection by gabions were widely used.
Varieties of gabions and their scope of application
Later, metal frameworks replaced the woven baskets, and the structures themselves received new functions. Today, gabions are used not only in construction, but also in landscape design. Thanks to the use of various fillers, they can fulfill both their intended purpose, for example, strengthening the shore with gabions, and a decorative function, or combine both of these tasks.
Strong galvanized wire with a diameter of 2-6 mm is usually used for the gabion framework. Separate products are fastened together in a single design. At the same time, in order to ensure the stability of the structure, to prevent its deformation and premature destruction, the same strong wire is used for the installation of gabions. The shape of the frame, these products are divided into:
- box gabions.
Dividing walls( diaphragms) must be provided for large-sized structures. At the same time, box-shaped constructions can be either mesh or welded gabions, depending on the method of their production.
Flat gabions, whose thickness does not exceed 30 cm, are an excellent option for strengthening the banks of streams and rivers, the slopes of ravines, laying on the bottom of shallow reservoirs.
With its flexibility, these products of small thickness repeat all the bends of the surface and any uneven terrain. Such gabions, as in the photo, can also be stacked as a foundation for box structures.
Gabions - the choice of
specialists Attention builders, owners of homestead plots and landscape designers, these designs do not attract by chance. They have a number of advantages, which are worth more details:
- The gabion mesh is flexible, which allows the structure to take the shape of any surface. He is not afraid of ground movement: due to its flexibility, the structure can be deformed, but its destruction will not occur.
- Stone filled gabions have good moisture permeability. Due to this, the structure will not experience additional hydrostatic loading and will not require a drainage system to drain water.
- Installation of gabions saves time, money, resources and reduces labor costs compared to the construction of reinforced concrete structures.
- Facilities have durability and stability, which over time can only increase. This is due to the ingress of soil between the fragments of the filler and the germination of plant roots in it.
- With the exception of large-scale projects to strengthen and reconstruct gabions of coastlines and slopes, such work does not require the involvement of heavy construction equipment.
- Gabion structures are durable. This quality is due to the properties of natural stone and the strength of galvanized wire. The service life of these structures is calculated for decades. However, their appearance remains virtually unchanged.
- The use of gabions in raised areas allows you to save the natural landscape and minimize people's interference with the environment.
- Qualitatively made gabions do not require repair and do not need maintenance throughout the entire period of operation.
These designs are safe and fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape.
How to make gabions on the plot independently
On country and suburban areas gabions can be used for:
- creating and strengthening terraces;
- arrangement of beds, beds and flower beds;
- zoning infield space;
- creation of small architectural forms;
- strengthening the bottom and banks of ornamental ponds;
- construction of retaining walls and strengthening of the slopes;
- erection of decorative fences and borders;
- manufacturing base garden furniture( benches, chairs, tables);
- fencing, both from gabions and in combination with wooden sections;
- constructions of garden sculptures, figures and other elements of landscape design.
To build gabions on the site, you can invite qualified builders. However, such a design is quite capable of assembling independently, you only need to use quality materials. We give a step by step instructions on how to make gabions with your own hands. There are two options:
- Purchase an industrial production frame by selecting the design of the required size and quantity. They can be used both for strengthening of slopes by gabions, and for decorative purposes. Today, manufacturers offer ready-made mesh containers of various shapes and sizes. Structures should be installed in the space provided for them and filled with the selected material.
- Make a frame for the gabion with your own hands, from wire, metal rod or mesh, and then, as described above, set in the selected location. After this, the most creative part of the work begins: the filling of the structure. Applying imagination and creative makings, you can turn gabion into a real decoration of the site, which will be difficult to pass without paying attention to it.
For the construction of gabions, you need a strong metal mesh, special metal spirals, steel pins, sturdy wire brackets, braces, geofabric( for bulk materials), and filler. For the connection of parts of the box, brackets and metal spirals are used, and with the help of pins the structure is firmly fixed to the ground. The middle of the container can be filled with small filler( geofabric is used for this), and the front walls can be filled with larger stones.
The filler fractions in size must be larger than the cells of the gabion container. The larger the cell, the larger the pieces of filler required.
When arranging surface structures, the size of the filler fractions should be one third larger than the size of the box or mesh cells. If the product is intended for operation under water, such a structure should be filled with an even larger stone, it should be one and a half times the size of the cells of the metal container.
Installation of gabions
Filling for gabions: which one to choose?
If on your site these structures perform the function of retaining walls, strengthening the slopes or you decide to build a fence of gabions, for this purpose you need to use durable filler. Perfect hard rock natural stone: basalt, quartzite, granite.
You can also use other varieties that are frost resistant, durable, waterproof, resistant to temperature extremes. The stone for gabions can be of different shapes and sizes, depending on the size of the metal frame cells. It can be rounded boulders, “wild stone”, large pebbles or crushed rubble - any of these materials will not only be durable, but also give the whole structure an attractiveness and make it pleasing to the eye.
For filling gabions that perform a decorative function, use materials with an interesting texture or their various combinations.
As a decorative filler for the device gabions, you can use various materials, selecting them in accordance with the style of the site design and color palette. These may include glass pieces, pipe and metal trimming, broken tiles, paving stones, brick fractions, tree cuts, thick bark pieces, and other natural or man-made materials.
bush Video instruction on assembling the gabion structure
Decorative gabions in landscape design
Today, gabions in landscape design can be seen more and more as decorative elements. There is no doubt that the use of these structures for decorative purposes has breathed new life into them. This area allows the use of products that previously carried only a functional load, as one of the main decorations of the site. And to translate the fantasies of the designer, this area really provides unlimited space.
The decorative role of these structures can be successfully combined with their functional purpose. Today, the walls of the gabions, made with your own hands can be seen not only in the backyard areas as fences, retaining walls, partitions for zoning and in the exterior of buildings, but also in the interior.
The lighting of decorative gabions on the plot looks beautiful in the evening. Therefore, in the construction of these structures should take care of their lighting.
Gabions will be the best solution for setting up a barbecue area and gazebos, facing the banks of small decorative ponds and building fountains, fencing flower beds, making bases for garden furniture and stands for garden sculptures. Fillers of these designs are harmoniously combined with forged parts, natural wood, metal and other materials.
Gabions look great on a hi-tech or minimalistic style plot. The austerity of these designs is beautifully set off by a green lawn, flowering plants and ornamental shrubs. In areas with differences in relief, an interesting solution would be the creation of terraces of gabion structures. The recreation area can be separated by a screen from the gabion, having equipped a cozy corner with an original design.
When constructing an “outdoor” fireplace or a barbecue zone from a gabion, special attention should be paid to its filling. It is better if it is a refractory material: stone or brick. A tree for these purposes will not work.
Gabions in landscape design, photos of which are given below, are surprising by the variety of materials used, shapes, colors. Thanks to these designs, any site can acquire a unique look and become a comfortable place to relax, where it is pleasant to get together with the whole family and receive guests.