A retaining wall is designed to retain or hold in place the earth behind it. However, when planning the design of a new retaining wall, you are faced with the same environmental questions as any other construction project. Below is a guide to some eco-friendly alternatives to using concrete to construct a retaining wall on your property.
Wood is the ideal choice if you are building a small retaining wall on a residential property as part of a larger landscaping project. You can reduce the environmental impact of your retaining wall by using reclaimed railway sleepers. Wood has the benefit of having a very attractive appearance and is a great choice if you plan to grow foliage over the retaining wall. A wooden retaining wall also offers natural drainage, reducing the need to build additional drainage pathways in your garden. However, when compared to concrete, wood generally does not offer the same levels of strength.
Recycled stone is produced using finely-crushed recycled stone, which has been mixed with resin binders. This creates solid bricks which look like natural stone. This makes them a great choice if you want to achieve the attractiveness and strength of natural stone without contributing to the environmental damage caused by natural stone quarrying. These bricks or blocks of recycled stone can be laid in the same way you would build a conventional brick wall.
Gabons consist of a series of metal cages which are filled with compressed rocks and stones. They are often seen on hillsides in mountainous country or on the coast, where they are used to prevent coastal erosion. The advantage of gabions is that they can be easily stacked to form a highly durable barrier. A gabion wall can also shift position in response to pressure placed on them without giving way or failing, which allows them to deal with changes in pressure caused by shifting soil. The loose stones within each cage also allow for excellent drainage. To ensure that your gabions are as environmentally friendly as possible, you should have them filled with locally sourced rock and stone rather than imported stone. If you opt for steel cages, you will eventually have to replace the gabions. Aluminium cages are rust resistance but also have a higher price tag.
If you would like more information about the different materials used to construct retaining walls, contact a landscaping contractor today.