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How Much Do Gabions Cost?

Oct. 26, 2022

From the banks of the Nile to your backyard, gabion walls are a boon to the landscape. Used by military and structural engineers for thousands of years, gabions provide an attractive, effective and inexpensive retaining wall system.


What is gabion?

Derived from an old Italian word gabbione, meaning 'large cage', gabions are enclosures that can be filled with any kind of inorganic material: rock, brick or concrete fragments. The cages were originally woven from wicker, but are now usually welded mesh made of strong galvanised, coated or stainless steel wire that will not bend when filled with rocks. In landscaping, gabion walls can support earth walls, stabilise soil, prevent erosion, and much more.

What is the history of gabion walls?

About 7,000 years ago, early gabion-type structures protected the banks of the Nile. In medieval times, gabions were used as military fortifications. Later, they were used for structural purposes in buildings. Apparently Leonardo da Vinci used gabions for the foundations of St Mark's Castle in Milan. In more recent history, civil engineers have used gabions extensively to stabilise coastlines, riverbanks, roads and slopes against erosion.

 Landscape Gabion

  Landscape Gabion

How much do gabion cost?

Prices can vary greatly, depending.


  • Gabion mesh. Cages are usually made from 3" mesh and are sold in a range of sizes. Depending on the gabion mesh, the industry standard is in units of 3 feet. To estimate the cost, a standard size galvanized mesh costs $35 per cubic yard (3 feet square of cage). Gabion walls can be made in almost any size (within structural constraints) to meet the needs of a particular site.

  • Infill: Here is where you can control the price. Your infill can be expensive slabs of stone or free recycled concrete. For a large project, you can usually find infill on site.

  • Installation. Gabions are very affordable for retaining walls or stone fences as there is little need to excavate or prepare the land. However, as they do not require foundations, they are a very economical way to build garden walls. The labour costs are minimal compared to traditional New England fieldstone walls."

Gabion Wall

 Gabion Wall

The advantages of gabions can include.

  • 1) Sustainable - carbon footprint analysis shows that the use of gabion solutions can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to concrete retaining walls of the same height. If growth is allowed, vegetation can be established within the gabion wall, which can further contribute to carbon sequestration of the solution.


  • 2) Smart and flexible - many modern buildings and infrastructures being designed or updated today are using gabions to update their appearance and meet sustainability requirements. Gabion solutions form the architectural leverage when it comes to landscaping and urban design.


  • 3) Budget friendly - Historically, large investments have been required in order to build beautiful infrastructure. The case of gabions is slightly different as their inherent nature reduces the cost of transportation and overall retaining walls. But it is unfair to simply label gabions as a low-cost solution. Gabions are a high value added product as their return is not measurable when variables such as environmental and aesthetic achievements are taken into account.


  • 4) Aesthetics are important. Large plain concrete structures are unnecessary as gabion walls contribute an element of prestige to your infrastructure. Whereas a classic concrete wall or retaining wall is monolithic, a gabion retaining wall block filled with local materials is more in keeping with its surroundings. Gabion structures can also be designed so that revegetation occurs when plants settle in the interstitial spaces between the rock fill, thus returning the solution to nature. We could say that gabions are a way to preserve nature!


  • 5) Scalable - even if the base technology remains the same, the wire mesh of each retaining wall block can be adapted to different needs. In addition, Gabions structures are perfectly scalable as they can be used for both large and small structures.

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