The Ecological Enhancement of Coastal and Marine Structures by Implementing Bio-Enhanced Concrete Elements into Design

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Andrew Rella , Ido Sella , Shimrit Perkol-Finkel

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By implementing science based, cost effective design enhancements that are in accordance with the principles of ecological engineering it is possible to modify the design of coastal and marine infrastructure to encourage the increased growth of native organisms, as well as greater species richness (Perkol-Finkel and Sella, 2014). Here we present a more advanced approach, in which eco-engineering aims not only to enhance biological performance for the sake of the environment, but to harness natural processes for increasing the sustainability and resilience of the infrastructure itself. ECOncrete’s innovative solutions reduce the ecological footprint of ports, marinas, coastal protections schemes and urban waterfront projects, while adding to their structural integrity. In this presentation, using numerous case studies of ECOncrete’s bio-enhanced concrete elements being implemented around the world, we will provide quantitative data of biocalcification processes and compare them to those developing on standard “gray” infrastructure. The case studies to be presented will include bio-enhanced seawalls, ecological tide pool and armoring units, and ecologically enhanced marine mattresses. All findings are based on comprehensive, multi-year monitoring programs whose results clearly show the ability of bio-enhanced structures to enhance growth of calcifying organisms thus enhancing natural growth of habitat forming species and ecosystem engineers that have the potential to increase the resilience and adaptivity of the structure. These design approaches have been proven not only to provide significant ecological advantages over traditionally engineered CMI, but also valuable structural advantages, contributing to a structures’ strength, stability and lifespan (Perkol-Finkel and Sella, 2015).

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program