Gabions and their impact on the environment

When building a house or renovating a garden, we usually look for the best price for goods. We often do not have enough space to take into account other important properties of materials, such as environmental friendliness, long-term durability, or greater practicality. But what if we have the possibility to combine all 4 properties into one solution?

Is it even possible to choose the most cost-effective alternative that would have a 50-year lifespan, a timeless design and a positive impact on the environment?

We are talking about gabions, wire structures filled with natural stone, which have been used in construction since the time of Leonardo da Vinci. They were first used in the construction of the foundations for the construction of Castello Sforzesco in Milan.

Let's look together at the ecological and practical advantages that gabions provide us.

Construction is one of the main industries involved in the deteriorating state of the environment. Therefore, it is extremely important to focus on the use of materials that help solve the environmental problems associated with the ever-increasing construction.

Measurable studies have proven that compared to concrete, gabions have an 80% lower carbon footprint. This was achieved thanks to the gentle, ecological production process and the materials from which the gabions are made. Gabions contribute to long-term environmental sustainability in several ways:

100% recyclability of gabions is irrefutable proof of their high environmental importance for our planet. The steel used in their production is the most recycled material in the world. More than 90% of the used steel is recycled again so that it can be used again in the production of cars, building structures, machines or packaging. For comparison, just over 30% of all manufactured plastics are recycled in the EU, which is a significantly lower figure compared to steel. The second and at the same time the most prominent construction component of gabions is stone. It will return directly to nature and complete the easy gabion recycling process without any side effects.

• A direct consequence of global warming and the constant cutting down of forests is an extremely increased risk of soil erosion and related floods. The level of the oceans and surface waters is gradually increasing, the soil easily erodes and slides due to deforestation. Gabions are a solution to both of these problems at the same time. They help to stabilize slopes, strengthen river banks and thus prevent floods. They create flexible, but above all permeable retaining walls that do not prevent the further flow of small streams of groundwater. Concrete walls divert these flows and thereby irreversibly disrupt the natural ecosystem in the area. For this reason, gabions are increasingly replacing non-ecological concrete retaining walls and fences, thereby contributing to the restoration of the natural ecosystem of our country. If you have a lake, river, or steep slope near your property, a gabion wall is an ideal and practical solution to protect your house and garden from potential floods and landslides.

• In today's world, transport is one of the main causes that significantly transforms our environment. Millions of kilometres of roads and highways in various terrains do not always require the use of enormous amounts of concrete. The use of gabions to strengthen the banks of highways allows their plants to grow roots from the outside as well as from the inside, which greatly contributes to their stability. The leaves of these plants help reduce the amount of carbon in the air caused by car exhaust. Unfortunately, nature cannot do this with concrete walls.

Gabions meet the strictest criteria for the use of building materials in nature. For this reason, they are often the only option for reshaping the landscape in nature reserves, parks and PLAs, where the highest degree of nature protection is achieved. In such areas, it is necessary to interfere with the relief of the country as sensitively and carefully as possible.

• Gabion constructions represent suitable architectural solutions precisely where the difficulty of the terrain, the design and the requirements of the city do not allow the use of concrete walls.

In conclusion, we must not forget perhaps the most important feature of gabions, and that is their long service life. The combination of two extremely durable materials (steel and stone) in combination with a high-quality surface treatment allows gabions to last even in the most demanding conditions without significant changes in shape and appearance for at least 50 years. In the long run, it is therefore the cheapest way to create retaining walls and implement garden projects.

GabionyLemon – Our company is the largest manufacturer of gabion baskets and gabion fences in Slovakia.

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