LIVING PORTS Project Catalyzes Next-gen Port Infrastructure
ECOncrete has won the European Commission Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation funding program with a large-scale deployment at the Port of Vigo, Galicia, Spain.
In alignment with the EU Green Deal, Marine Directive and Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, de-risking and scaling of environmentally-sensitive industrialization projects is an urgent priority. The LIVING PORTS project is designed to catalyze a fundamental change in the Coastal and Marine Infrastructure (CMI) industry’s operations by shifting away from obsolete “grey” construction and toward nature-inclusive infrastructure with structural, environmental and socioeconomic co-benefits.
The consortium is built of four partners from three countries: ECOncrete Tech Ltd, the project coordinator, and an Israeli SME provider for ecological CMI solutions; the Port of Vigo, one of Europe’s greenest ports; CARDAMA SHIPYARD, a Spanish shipbuilding and ship repair company; Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Civil Engineering and Aquatic Resources Institutes.
LIVING PORTS will include two large-scale demonstration sites: 1) 310m² ECOncrete sea wall and an underwater monitoring and community outreach deck developed by Cardama Shipyard; the floating deck will be supported by five ECOncrete bio-enhancing moorings; 2) 100 ECOncrete Tide Pool Armor units and ECO Armor Block units will provide coastal stabilization as well as habitat creation and ecological uplift. During the three-year project (2021-2024), biological and structural monitoring will be led by DTU. An Italian expert team will conduct first of a kind noise pollution reduction monitoring, associated with enhanced marine growth on ECOncrete’s units.
“ECOncrete is enabling a revolution for marine ports, providing the tools to shift from focusing only on function and structural performance, to also focusing on benefitting the marine environment. LIVING PORTS will be an iconic example for nature-inclusive port infrastructure: an active waterfront that also serves as a thriving habitat and a community focal point.” ECOncrete’s co-founder, CEO, and project coordinator, Dr. Ido Sella.
“Port of Vigo is considered a reference green port in Europe with a very active policy in environmental protection. Thus, it has recently committed to reach zero carbon emissions in 2030. The LIVING PORTS project fits within its strategy, being part of the integral program of actions “Sunset Dock”. This program is focused on the improvement of the port ecosystem.” Port of Vigo’s project coordinators Carlos Botana (Head of the Sustainability Department) and Gerardo González (Head of Projects and Works Division) and technical staff Francisco Barreiro.
“With the LIVING PORTS project, DTU and their international collaborators are at the forefront of future harbour developments. The project creates the tools and documentation for next generation harbors that not only provide crucial infrastructure, but also become vital living spaces for a wide range of marine organisms. In the LIVING PORTS project, two DTU institutes, Civil engineering and Aquatic Resources, are joining efforts with their partners to reveal the benefits of concrete structures that are designed to support life.” Wolfgang Kunther (Assoc. Prof., DTU Byg) and Jon C. Svendsen (Senior Researcher, DTU Aqua)
“Cardama Shipyard has been committed to innovation and environmental protection throughout its more than 100 years of history. Recent projects in marine pollution protection include not only the construction of Emergency Response & Rescue vessels, but also floating structures and land infrastructure for coastal protection activities in many countries all over the world. Production of green energy floating artifacts, coastal pollution collection vessels and now and underwater monitoring structures are good examples of how naval industry innovation can help to preserve marine ecosystems.” M. Borja Cardama will lead this Project from Cardama Shipyard R&D department.