The new patented material was created as a replacement for traditional concrete rock ripraps – helping to mitigate the harmful effects of concrete on marine life and ecosystems
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Spotted: Tel Aviv-based ECOncrete has created a patented technology to replace inorganic concrete rock ripraps with durable and sustainable infrastructure that provides long-lasting protection for vulnerable shorelines.
Ripraps are human-placed revetments used to protect shoreline structures against scour, water, wave, and ice erosion. They are made from boulder-sized rocks, blocks of concrete, or other hard materials. However, these structures don’t support the environment, and can instead suppress vegetation and marine life. It has also been suggested that ripraps increase water temperature – which impacts fish and other aquatic life.
Established in 2012, ECOncrete was formed by an interdisciplinary group of scientists – including biologists, ecologists, environmental engineers, designers, and concrete technology specialists. The company aims to make concrete that brings life back to shores – above and below the water. ECOncrete’s patented technology creates pools of cooler temperature water, grooves and organic living surfaces, providing sustainable habitats for marine life to inhabit and thrive.
ECOncrete’s technology works both on a micro and macro level. According to the company, it promotes the growth of organisms like oysters, corals, or barnacles. This in turn works as biological glue that enhances the strength and durability of structures, fostering greater stability and longevity.
Discussing the process behind the Port of San Diego’s new protective barrier, ECOncrete explained that “74 interlocking single-layer armor units were deployed in two pilot sections…The units were rotated to mimic tidepool and cave habitats for local marine life. After a successful 3-day installation, the Port is working with ECOncrete to install 1,000 additional feet of coastal protection.”
The company also offers a life-enabling Admix that can be added to regular concrete mix to create a chemically-balanced concrete. This enables resilient and diversified marine ecosystems to develop.
Written By: Katrina Lane