Seismically vulnerable regions

The Project Mediterranean Gabions is a project of applied research that relies on the experience accumulated by A& D in more than ten years on sustainable development and habitat issues and on the work of the NGO Africa 70 and its 30 years of cooperation projects and development in Africa.

The origins of this project are in Pakistan in 2005, in the scope of the post-emergency and reconstruction project implemented by A&D in partnership with the French Red Cross. A&D has decided at that time to experiment with the technology “gabions” (confined elements walling systems) aiming at creating earthquake-resistant structures. These experiments have led to the design of a prototype using a mixed structure.

Our hypothesis is that the usage of gabions or traditional structures (or mixed systems) in designing disaster-resistant structures could substitute reinforced concrete masonry currently used in the Mediterranean countries and very often poorly implemented. It would allow more people to have access to disaster-resistant construction, using low-cost and available construction materials (stone and steel wire mesh). The application of this technology would contribute in improving habitat conditions for the poor communities.

The project will be developed in the following phases:
Phase 1: modeling, study and scientific validation construction process in the INSA Rennes
Phase 2: architectural design of two prototypes by our experts, in collaboration with local partners
Phase 3: experimentation in situ, achievements of the prototypes in the two sites in Morocco
Phase 4: Restitution workshop with partners French, Italian and Moroccan to validate the methodology and assessing its potential for replication The first prototype is the basis of this project and was developed in Pakistan during the earthquake reconstruction programmes.

For more information:;
Images: Olivier Boucheron.

Project Date: 2009





ASF International Member Organization: 


Associate Members: 




INSA Rennes

Pompiers Sans Frontières

Africa 70


PACA Region



Wire mesh gabions

Main member's other activities


Activity Type: 

Architectural Project