Sustainable waterfront infrastructure uses unique concrete technology to replace traditional rock ripraps

ECOncrete’s patented technology is used to replace inorganic concrete rock ripraps with durable and sustainable infrastructure to provide long-lasting protection for vulnerable shorelines.

While ripraps are familiar sights, their structural formation and the effects they have on the environment are largely left unknown by the general public. Used to armor, stabilize, and protect the shoreline of bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, and oceans, rock ripraps are human-placed revetments that form protective barriers along vulnerable shorelines.

Accounting for vegetation suppression, thermal pollution, and synthetic waste, it seems rock riprap has become an antiquated solution to a lasting problem. Reinterpreting the conventional rock riprap through biomimicry to fit modern environmental needs, ECOncrete developed Coastalock, a new type of durable and sustainable infrastructure to replace rock ripraps. In San Diego, ECOncrete’s patented technology is being used to create a durable and sustainable infrastructure for the Port of San Diego. To replace traditional riprap, ECOncrete set out to create effective, efficient, and climate-adapted armor to protect the Port of San Diego for continued use.

In addition to offering lasting protection for the port, ECOncrete’s patented technology creates sustainable pools for marine species to inhabit and rehabilitates those habitats for fish to enjoy cooler temperatures and organic living surfaces, while generating an expansive carbon sink in the process. Explaining the process behind the Port of San Diego’s new protective barrier, ECOncrete describes, “74 interlocking single-layer armor units were deployed in two pilot sections…The units were rotated to mimic tidepool and cave habitats for local marine life. After a successful 3-day installation, the Port is working with ECOncrete to install 1,000 additional feet of coastal protection.”

Co-founded by marine biologists and innovators, ECOncrete was started to help mitigate the harmful effects of concrete on marine life and ecosystems. Established in 2012, ECOncrete is an interdisciplinary science-backed company with a team made up of many different professionals, from creative designers to technology specialists. Developing a new standard for marine-centered concrete, ECOncrete’s patented technology helps build stronger marine infrastructure which can be used for various functions.

Designer: ECOncrete

The grooves of ECOncrete’s infrastructure provide safe inhabitation zones for marine life.