Coastructions mission is threefold:
Our main responsibility is to design, produce and install artificial reefs to help restoration of damaged reef systems and protect vulnerable coastlines. We believe that artificial reefs should be naturally shaped in order to cater for the system they are placed in. When key species adopt their new habitat there is a bigger chance of success.
Subsequently, we hope to inspire people to achieve a sustainable relationship with marine ecosystems. We have all contributed to the decline of the reefs BUT we can also all contribute to their revival. By making every human being part of the solution we raise awareness and create a feeling of ownership.
And finally we want to make concrete circular and eco-friendly.Somewhere between four and eight percent of all global man-made carbon emissions can be attributed to concrete. With optimized recipes to reduce CO2 emissions, re-use production waste and re-cycle old concrete into fill material we will contribute to a more sustainable product on the market.
Nature knows best
We could fill this section on the alarming decline of marine ecosystems and the tremendous impacts of reef degradation but there are experts in our network of collaborators out there who can describe it way better.
The causes of the decline all lie in human behavior. Through misunderstanding, ignorance and greed we have interacted unsustainably with the marine world creating a strong imbalance. Coming to a solution seems complex because we do not yet understand the details and interrelationships of all the cycles. However this shouldn't stop us from trying. At Coastruction we know 3 things for sure:
Collaboration is a fact in nature.
There are some amazing shapes and materials out there that have stood the test of time. Why reinvent the wheel? Nature knows best.
Every organism in an ecosystem is unique and has its own role to play. So do we.
We only use natural materials
In a healthy ecosystem there is an abundance of life forms with each organism taking its responsibility. Under harmonious circumstances, organisms are able to withstand external pressures and ecological fluctuations. The network stretches but bounces back into its state of equilibrium. This only works if everyone in the system fulfills his function.
At Coastruction we take our responsibility by creating 3D printed reefs designed for local species and site-specific conditions to create the best possible fit into the ecosystem. We do this in collaboration with local knowledge holders who understand their environment best.
When we print, we only use natural materials aiming for the lowest CO2 footprint possible. Ideally we use local material such as beach sand or recycled concrete. Because we only ship our printers in order to work on site we strongly reduce transport emissions. And finally, our printers are designed to create a circular process without waste.
Building with Nature
The need for a better understanding of the complex relationship between ecology and coastal engineering has led to the development of design philosophies such as Building with Nature (Engineering with Nature or Working with Nature).
Building with Nature (BwN) is a design approach to develop Nature-based Solutions (NBS) for water-related infrastructure such as flood defence, sustainable port development and for the restoration of ecosystems. It harnesses the forces of nature to benefit the economy, society and the environment.
Coastruction adopts the BwN design philosophy to contribute to the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions as well as to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2, 9, 12, 13 and 14.
DR. MICHAEL SWEET
Professor molecular ecology,
University of Derby
" We are excited to team up with Coastruction to explore ways of increasing coral settlement on their artificial reef structures.
...Coastruction are using modern techniques to provide a substrate for corals to settle. Our job at the Coral Spawning Lab is to ensure a constant supply of larvae so a partnership between the two organisations was logical."
CARMEN VAN DER BURG-CATSMAN
Design Leader City Development,
Municipality of Rotterdam
"Coastructions innovative printing technique makes it possible to print complex structures.
This offers great potential to make existing paved shorelines attractive for marine life and thereby strengthen Rotterdam's delta nature."