Coastruction: Bio-active constructions for reef recovery
The new generation of nature-based 3D printed artificial reefs
Last updated: July 11, 2023 Rotterdam, Netherlands
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The importance of corals
Coral reefs across the world are under relentless stress from warming caused by climate change and other local pressures such as overfishing, unsustainable coastal development and declining water quality. Around one third of all marine life present in our oceans lives with the coral reef, despite covering only 1% of the planet’s surface. Coral reefs are an important part of coastline protection because they reduce the energy of waves by 97%. They are a fundamental part of preventing flooding and erosion of the coastline.
New ways to support coral recovery
A new system of 3D printing of the artificial reef substrate using powder-bed process allows corals to grow faster and healthier, as well as providing habitat for more diverse marine life. The process allows different aggregate powders to be used in the printing process including recycled concrete, crushed sea shells, aragonite sand together with a binding agent. Other than extrusion-based processes and cast elements, the printed structure can be made of natural materials and allows for complex and porous structures, enabling better marine life growth.
Holcim Foundation Sounding Board
The Holcim Foundation Sounding Board enables built environment innovators to explore their ideas that challenge conventional building practices with industry-leading peers.
Coastruction design, produce and install 3D printed artificial reefs to help restoration of damaged reef systems and protect vulnerable coastlines.