gabion (Gabbione?)

04/23/2013 - 09:57

Anyone used these here in Italy and if so did they work out ok and where do you buy them?



They work just fine. You don't usually buy them (though you might find a local builders' merchant, or a very go-ahead quarry, who have some displayed); you buy (or commission a local fabro to knock up) a metal cage, and you buy rocks to fill it with. This way you can build something very substantial with very limited lifting equipment! Simple really.

You could always make a version of your own if they are not too big, using chicken wire and lace sections together with fencing wire. You still have to fill them with rocks, but you could make bespoke sizes to suit your needs,

...thought about a DIY job, but if the price was right, then it would be easier to buy... Amazon UK have these but delivery is as much as the cage. These people do them, but I would have thought a local builder, ferramenta would have them  ? Those outlined here just look like 6 metal frames joine by a spiral wire, butnot too sure how easy it would be to get the spiral wire...?

if you don't feel like or don't want to do it yourself as sometimes some amount of earth moving can also be involved there are some small agricultural "engineering" companies who do this kind of work at a good price and well eg. clean the appointed piece of land/escarpment with a digger/excavator sometimes "pushing it back" making up and postioning and putting into place the gabbioni,they also do more eco friendly forms like pallisades ( trunks driven into the ground vertically) creating little flat terraces etc -quite nice.I have used a little company in comunanza for several tasks like putting in a ranch fence,putting in several hundreds of meteres of 2 metre high posts with steel wires for rasberry cultivation etc etc i can recommend him/them -nice guy-honest-does a good job and they'd  do your cages too send me a pm if your'e interested.

We had a problem about 4 years ago. Our house is on the side of a hill - on a piece of flat land, but the edge of the land kept eroding and falling into the valley.  This caused the swimming pool to move and tilt. We got a local builder (details in a minute) to build us a 40M long 3M high wall made up of gabbione cages which were supplied by him - cost E30 each for the cages, which were 1M x 1M x 2M (although you can buy them smaller) You can have them filled with whatever - concrete blocks are the cheapest I think, but we decided we wanted it to look better than this so we had them filled with local stone. They are  set on top of each other on a staggered basis and we have not had a problem since. The guy who did the whole job and supplies the materials is Luciano Calvani - you will find him with a big builders yard on the outskirts of Sarnarno.

"You can have them filled with whatever - concrete blocks are the cheapest I think, but we decided we wanted it to look better than this so we had them filled with local stone." You can use cheap fill for the bulk of each gabion, and only use better stone to make up the exposed faces

If they are going to be a wall type thing - using fill instead of squared off stone will be a disaster - they will become misshapen and all sorts. Make sure you can do what you plan with no permission - moving earth in some places requires permissions

Great info folks... thanks, looks like a visit to the local builders to see if they have them. We only require them (at the moment ) for a 10m section where we have made level an area about 4mx10m area for one of our veg plots. It's on a fairly steep bank (steep enough near the road lower down for the Comune to put in 2-3m gabione a long time back). We would only need a meter or so and even then just to be on the safe side, in addition to not wanting to lose out veg... I think we would go for a mixture of rubble where not in view and local bolders/stone on view. So very interested on the debate on the filling... 

I  bet that the gabbione done by the comune will have squared off cut stone at least on the facing side and the bottom of the gabbione, aesthetically better and more secure.  I dont know whether you are in a hydrogeoligical black spot and have risk of frane - which will certainly have some effect on the choice of filling.