The last few decades have seen rapid proliferation of hard artificial structures (e.g. offshore energy, port infrastructure, aquaculture, coastal defences) in the marine environment (ocean sprawl). 70% of coastal and marine infrastructure (CMI) is concrete, yet concrete is known as a poor substrate for marine flora and fauna to thrive. Cement, the key ingredient of concrete, is the source of 8% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Due to a lack of available concrete alternatives, CMI is designed and built with little or no ecological consideration, leading to high ecological footprint of structures like ports and coastal defence schemes often resulting in environmental penalties (€900K per acre or mitigation costs through via artificial reefs) and a prolonged permitting process (<1 year). ECOncrete® has created and validated a win-win solution for both thriving ecosystems and high performing concrete structures. The science-based innovative technology is designed to encourage the development of rich and diverse marine life and natural processes like calcification and photosynthesis (that uptake CO2 ) as an integral part of CMI such as seawalls, breakwaters, and urban waterfronts, providing highly durable, bioenhancing concrete solutions and Climate Change resilience. The LIVING PORTS project is composed of an interdisciplinary consortium of 4 partners, each chosen to actively participate in the de-risking and industrialization of ECOncrete’s® revolutionary technology. The project shall act as a first and crucial step toward a fundamental change in the way the CMI industry currently operates, shifting from obsolete “gray” construction materials and designs, to innovative science-based technologies that foster ecological, estructural, and socio-economic value.
Fields of science
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