These Living Seawalls made in collaboration with Kind Designs, Miami, mimic coral reefs and mangroves, hosting biodiversity and improving the quality of water. Additionally, they are embedded with sensors to collect 15 parameters of essential data.
Kind Designs (Miami, Florida) reached out to us for the production of Living Seawalls. Seawalls are underwater structures that protect the land from erosion, flooding, and storm surges. Living Seawalls, however, are a bit more complicated than ordinary seawall panels. They include distinctive, nature-like designs in order to support local marine life. Therefore, we were challenged with designing a wall that would be sturdy enough to withstand underwater currents while also having a complicated, curvy structure to support biodiversity.
The Living Seawalls should have a curvy design so that flora and fauna can find shelter in and against the walls. To create this unique shape, we used parametric design; a precise design tool with over 400,000 different shape possibilities. This flexibility helped us customize the design in a way that both animals and plants alike could benefit from the seawalls. The rough texture of the walls forms the perfect foundation for seaweed to grow on, while the curves in the Living Seawalls provide fish and crustaceans shelter against predators.
Our 3D concrete printers proved to be the perfect partner in constructing Living Seawalls. After just three weeks of training, Kind Designs was able to start their journey of providing the entire Floridian coast with their unique solution. And this journey is moving along quickly: as Anya explained on NBC, the printing of a wall takes around an hour, whereas without 3D printing this would take close to 24 hours. On top of protecting the state’s shorelines and improving its ocean biodiversity, this innovative company thought of another creative way to help. Their seawalls are embedded with sensors that measure information on water quality with as many as 15 different parameters! These parameters include data like pH levels and salinity, and are exactly the 15 data points Florida counties currently collect manually. Thanks to Kind Designs, this information is now collected automatically and ready for analysis immediately, assisting the state in improving its water quality and predicting certain events like algae blooms.