We use 3D concrete printing to produce Living Seawalls, underwater structures that improve biodiversity and monitor water quality. Learn more about Living Seawalls on this page!
Living Seawall Construction
CyBe Construction values sustainable construction, and this sustainability is evident in our way of working. From our sustainable material to our eco-friendly construction, environmental consciousness resides in every step of our process. Apart from reducing the environmental impact of our construction methods, we take a proactive stance in improving our planet’s welfare. One example of these efforts to improve our world is the construction of Living Seawalls; underwater structures that monitor water quality through sensors and improve biodiversity by attracting marine life. Learn all about Living Seawalls here!
What is the Purpose of a Living Seawall?
You might wonder what is the purpose of a seawall. Seawall panels are made to be placed underwater, in order to improve the local marine environment. They also protect the land from erosion, flooding, and storm surges, and help against sea-level rise. The benefits of Living Seawalls, however, extend beyond those of ordinary seawalls. After the production of a Living Seawall project is complete, the structures will be installed along the shoreline. There, the walls will positively affect the biodiversity of the location, as well as actively provide information about the quality of the water. Their distinctive shapes are modified to seamlessly support the requirements of local marine ecosystems, with the often peculiar shape of the structures catering to the distinctive needs of different ecosystems. Living Seawalls also play a role in monitoring the environment. The seawall panels are embedded with a sensor system that collects various essential data related to the quality of the water. This information is shared with control centers on the surface, where they can analyze this data.
How are Living Seawalls Made?
The construction of Living Seawalls is far from simple. These structures include numerous complex shapes, requiring a meticulous design and construction method. The optimal method for creating Living Seawalls, therefore, is 3D concrete printing. This innovative construction method uses parametric design, a precise tool allowing the user to create over 400,000 different shapes. Using this tool, one can create a model mimicking the structural complexity of natural shapes found on the ocean floor, such as corals. This model can then be printed to accurately bring this customized design to life. Developing such intricate, natural shapes is nothing new to us. The production of Living Seawalls is very similar to that of artificial reefs, in which we at CyBe have extensive experience. Artificial reefs go through the same process of meticulously designing and printing structures with high shape complexity. The next step is similar as well. Just as with artificial reefs, when the Living Seawall project is designed and printed, the seawall panels will be transported to and placed in the desired location. They will then start attracting marine organisms to create a new ecosystem.
What are the Benefits of Living Seawalls
There are many Living Seawalls benefits. Their main advantages over normal seawalls are related to our planet’s ocean wellbeing, and can be divided into two categories. The first benefit of implementing Living Seawall projects relates to their embedded sensor system. Seawall panels that are placed underwater are constantly collecting data on many parameters. Information they gather can vary from pH levels to salinity, and is directly available to be analyzed. This way of automatically collecting data saves many hours of manual work, and can be used to predict certain events like algae blooms. The registered data from the water can also be used to improve its quality
Another Living Seawall benefit pertains to ocean biodiversity. As soon as these structures are placed in the water, they will start attracting local marine life. Both animals and plants alike find shelter on and around the walls. The rough texture of the Living Seawall’s concrete material provides a stable foundation for plants like seaweeds to grow on. These seaweeds are the very basis of the ocean’s food chain. Fish and invertebrates find food in these weeds. Additionally, seaweeds also contribute to the Earth’s oxygen supply. The combination of the curvy texture of the Living Seawalls and the affixed seaweeds offers smaller marine life like fish and crustaceans protection against predators. All these benefits contribute to the blooming of the local ecosystem and the increase of biodiversity around the Living Seawalls.
Living Seawalls by Kind Designs
Our partner Kind Designs is currently producing Living Seawalls in Miami. This Living Seawall project started in June 2023, and the company is set out to place Living Seawalls all along the coast of Florida. Using a CyBe RC, Kind Designs is manufacturing seawalls at an unmatched speed while managing to stay affordable. Their unique design has all the benefits regarding ocean biodiversity, including small cavities, rough textures, and irregular shapes for smaller organisms to attach to. Their seawall panels are implemented with sensors that measure as much as 15 different parameters. These parameters are exactly the ones that Florida counties currently collect manually. Kind Designs is an invaluable addition to the state. With their Living Seawalls, Miami and Florida as a whole are able to cut back on a lot of manual labor, improve their waters’ quality, and have their shores protected from floods and storm surges!
Living Seawalls by Kind Designs
Why 3D concrete printing? Efficient and sustainable
Using 3D concrete printing technology presents numerous advantages when it comes to producing Living Seawalls. Primarily, when compared to conventional construction methods, it stands out as remarkably efficient, both in terms of cost and time. With their complex shapes, seawall panels are near impossible to create with a less advanced construction technique. 3DCP as an innovative and flexible construction method allows for the swift creation of these intricate structures within a fraction of the time that would be required without 3D concrete printing. On top of that, 3DCP stands out as a more sustainable way of building, as it uses recycled materials and minimizes waste. Taking into account all of these qualities, 3D concrete printing emerges as the optimal, most efficient, and most sustainable method for the creation of Living Seawalls.