Wednesday, 26 October 2016 - 6:45pm

Gabion structures have been around for well over 100 years and in the 21st century Maccaferri gabions have been used to build structures over 70 m high. Double twist (DT) mesh gabions can be used in many applications from architectural to structurally sensitive projects.

A system which can accommodate differential settlement, they can be extremely cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, permeable and durable. While many people may not notice the numerous gabion structures built literally on the side of the road they travel, it is the poorly constructed retaining structures that certainly stick in my mind! While they are a simple cost effective solution to construct, I think there are some key points that can and should be followed that will give you the structural and aesthetic finish you require on a project.

While gabions can easily be installed by just about anybody, to obtain a spectacular finish, I cannot emphasize enough the use of an experienced installer with a strong history in gabion installation being the correct choice.

A company that has a proven history in a range of gabion application installations is critical in achieving the required finish and a structurally stable solution. All too many times the cheap price of an inexperienced installer has led to many types of retaining walls not just gabions failing in one form or another. A company that has an extensive case history portfolio, coupled with client testimonials is always a good start. An installer that can demonstrate capability, expertise on projects of similar magnitude and quality will also aid in the selection process. An experience installer will not only produce a quality gabion project but they have the ability to achieve quality installations with excellent installation rates.

Another method to ensure a spectacular project is the use of template gabions. For any project where a subcontractor is involved in the installation of gabions, construction of template gabions to exhibit their capabilities is an excellent interview process. This can act as an ongoing ‘quality assurance’ allowing the successful contractor, architect/engineer and client to be on the same page while managing their expectations. 

Quality of materials such as the geotextile and the gabion mesh is also critical in terms of the short term construction, but also the long term design life. Geofabrics have complete traceability on their non woven geotextiles as do Maccaferri with their double twist mesh products. With third party testing on their mesh in terms of strength and durability Maccaferri gabions have proven longevity in even the most corrosive of environments.

Quality of the rock to be used is again essential in terms its physical characteristics. to be used have international and Australian standards which should be adhered to.

Finally, an engineer recently said to me “You get what you inspect, not what you expect!” This goes without saying but ongoing inspections by the landscape architect and engineer are important for the successful and spectacular completion of a gabion project.

Below are some projects from across Australia, completed by experienced installers using the Maccaferri gabions.

Geofabrics is the proud distributor for Officine Maccaferri range of products such gabions, terramesh and green terramesh.

For more information contact: David Clague on (02) 8785 8800 or email: 


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