Paver Connection’s Walls – The Gabion Cage Wall Built for an Engineer

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Hurricane Harvey brought a lot of devastation to the Houston area, from homes being completely submerged and wiped out to backyards being flooded and destroyed. If you’re a homeowner with a property that backs up to White Oak Bayou, you’re all too familiar with the flooding hazards of living on its edge.

Starting Over after Harvey

gabion wall construction
A lot of engineers like gabion walls because they look more natural over time and prevent erosion.

When Mark J. (full name omitted to protect privacy) was considering his options after Harvey flooded his home on White Oak Bayou, he decided to tear it down and start from scratch. That meant a new home and a new yard. In his backyard, he wanted more than just a retaining wall; he opted for a 45-foot-wide and 18-foot-tall gabion cage wall (also known as a “gabions” or a “gabion retaining wall”).

Why a Gabion Cage Wall?

Gabions aren’t new. In fact, the idea behind them dates back around 7,000 years to similar walls that protected the Nile’s banks. Similar technology was also used to fortify medieval forts and early architecture.

A lot of engineers prefer gabion cage walls because they’re effective in stabilizing waterfront shorelines and preventing erosion. They’re gravity walls, which means they use the weight of the stone and materials to stay in place while keeping the soil behind them from eroding. Plus, gabions take less tieback and excavation to build, and they look more natural because vines and grass can grow through them, covering up the walls over time.

gabion cage wall close up

Outstanding versus Standing Out.

For Mark, a civil engineer by trade, the gabion cage wall made more sense in the overall aesthetic scheme that he wanted for his backyard. He needed something that would hold the bayou at bay and, increase drainage flow, but that would eventually blend in with the grassy edge that makes living by the bayou worthwhile.

Paver Connection’s Gabion Cage Wall

Paver Connection has a lot of experience with gabion cage walls. We know what the city is looking for when we secure permits, but while we were building Mark’s wall, one of the neighbors was “kind” enough to call the city and get the project shut down, citing concerns about floodplain mitigation. Fortunately, we had our ducks in a row, and the project was delayed by only a few hours while the city re-confirmed all their plan and inspection approvals.

With the gabion cage wall built, Mark is now ready to look at new walkways and a driveway made with pavers. We’re sure that they’ll be well thought out.
That’s what you’d expect from a top engineer like Mark.
* Required engineering services are performed by independent consultants.

Backyard Gabion WallC.E. Shepherd Company Modular Gabion Systems