Green Retaining Walls

Green retaining wall made with earthbags will be covered with plants.
Green retaining wall made with earthbags will be covered with plants.

Geosynthetics Magazine is a valuable go-to source for technical earthbag articles. This is a great, free resource for serious earthbag builders, especially commercial builders. They have a new article about natural green facades on earthbag highway retaining walls. It’s surprisingly simple and effective. The retaining wall is not only strong, it also looks good because the wall will soon be covered in plants. The same concepts can be used for simpler retaining walls around your home or farm.

Image credit: Geosynthetics Magazine

10 thoughts on “Green Retaining Walls”

  1. I have used earthbags that i made myself from bidim material, bidim® is a continuous filament nonwoven needlepunched geotextile. It is manufactured of 100% recycled polyester from discarded cold drink bottles. I filled it with soil where i constructed the terraces, 20 plus years later and theyre still intact, plant roots grow into the bags, making the wall ridged. No drainage in my walls as water can seep through the material.

  2. HI Owen,

    We have spoken before regarding the organisation I represent, the Mlambe Project.

    I have been interested in earthbag retaining walls since seeing this article, however I had always imagined we would have large problems with keeping the earthbags dry.

    Do you know whether a membrane is used on the earth side of the wall?


    • Usually the bags are covered in cement plaster and have drainage holes for water to seep through. Do not build very high.

    • Yes, it’s very easy. Search this blog for keywords retaining walls. Also, more details are in my earthbag building ebook. See link at top of page. The key steps include using gravel bags and anging the wall slightly towards the slope. Be sure to leave small gaps between bags for drainage. Cover with cement plaster.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.