The development of a fully constructive ecological unit for coastal armouring

A. J. Rella, J. Gutiérrez, T. Tagar-Hadary, Y. Rosenberg, M. Bezner, M. Neder, P. LeBlanc, I. Sella, S. Perkol-Finkel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In response to anthropogenic activities, coupled with sea level rise and extreme weather events, coastal communities are defending their shorelines by constructing breakwaters, seawalls, and other forms of coastal and marine infrastructure. As such, these structures typically support lower species richness and diversity than natural habitats. However, with the addition of slight structural modifications to increase habitat heterogeneity and surface complexity, increased colonization, and enhanced biodiversity of marine species on artificial substrates can be encouraged. To showcase the ability to apply these ecological design principles to a fully constructive armouring unit ECOncrete® Tech Ltd. designed the COASTALOCKTM. This unit can be incorporated into breakwaters and revetments as an alternative or to complement traditional armour layers, while offering diverse habitats for marine communities, such as water retaining features, overhangs, and cave-like shelter, mimicking natural intertidal habitats that are typically absent along man-made armoured waterfronts. This paper focuses on the drivers behind the structural and ecological design of the innovative armouring units, and the lessons to be learned from the installation within a full¬scale pilot project. The results of which support that the design addresses not only the structural and coastal engineering requirements for shoreline stabilization but the awareness of marine habitats when designing any coastal and marine infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters 2023
Subtitle of host publicationResilience and adaptability in a changing climate
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780727767059
ISBN (Print)9780727767042
StatePublished - 19 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© The Authors 2024. All rights reserved.


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