An Oceanic Challenge
While the last several decades have seen an extensive ocean sprawl with the rapid proliferation of hard infrastructure in the coastal marine environment, most of these infrastructures are designed and built with little or no ecological consideration.
Instead, these infrastructures routinely cause more harm than good. Currently, 70% of coastal and marine infrastructures are concrete based which is known as a poor substrate for the marine flora and fauna to thrive on, and cement (the key ingredient of concrete) is the source of 8% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In addition, standard "gray" concrete is considered toxic to many marine organisms, mainly due to its adverse surface chemistry that impairs the settlement of various aquatic larvae.
Put simply, conventional concrete is damaging the marine life critical to our oceans, but we continue to use it. In 2021, the global marine infrastructure market was valued at approximately $342 billion, and it is expected to grow by more than 10.8% YoY by 2030.
ECOncrete disrupts the marine infrastructure market with its patent-protected technologies which integrate ecological nature-inspired ecological considerations in construction elements for coastal infrastructure while contributing to their structural durability and longevity.
The ECOncrete breakthrough
ECOncrete has developed and validated a nature-inspired solution for both thriving ecosystems and high-performing concrete structures. Their science-based technology provides fully structural, bio-enhancing concrete solutions, designed to encourage the development of rich and diverse marine life as an integral part of coastal and marine Infrastructure.
There are three primary innovations behind ECOncrete’s technology:
- The bio enhancing ECOncrete Admix: the composition is based on unique pozzolans, recycled materials and by-products that enhance the marine growth in different environments while increasing the concrete strength.
- ECOncrete’s mould modifying agents, liners, and coatings which generate complex micro surface textures with increased rugosity, therefore bio-mimicking natural rock/coral surfaces.
- The science-based macro design provides desirable biological needs which target specific organisms/life stages/endangered species and reduce the dominance of invasive and nuisance species that typically dominate “gray” concrete-based infrastructure.
Proof of concept
While World Ocean Day is a welcome opportunity to highlight ECOncrete’s technology and the magnitude of interest it is attracting across the globe
ECOncrete has been implemented in infrastructures in more than 40 locations across 10 countries, including shorelines and waterfronts in Spain, Monaco, the Netherlands, Italy, San Diego, and New York. Of course, there is more to do. Predicting and abating the loss of natural habitats continues to present a huge challenge in marine science, conservation, and management.
Join the Blue Economy
At ECOncrete, we are focused on learning more to tackle the challenges facing the marine life and ecosystems of our oceans. We continue to participate in world-first ecological projects and remain committed to research as we grow. With our technologies and growing network of partners, collaboration will remain vital to delivering sustainable marine construction and development.
It is encouraging to see more world leaders consider the importance of preserving the ‘blue economy’ and support ecologically-based constructions. This World Oceans Day, we celebrate our commitment to maintaining biodiversity, creating active carbon sinks, and delivering ecological concrete structures.
We invite companies around the world to join us and enact lasting ecological change for our marine ecosystems.
Written by Dr. Yaeli Rosenberg, Head of Biology at ECOncrete,