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Ido S.,ECOncrete | Ido S.,SeArc Ecological Marine Consulting Ltd. | Shimrit P.-F.,ECOncrete | Shimrit P.-F.,SeArc Ecological Marine Consulting Ltd.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2015

Concrete based coastal and marine infrastructure (CMI) such as ports, piers, industrial facilities and coastal defense elements dominate coastal zones world-wide. Coastal hardening replaces natural habitats with urban/industrial waterfronts that cannot provide ecosystem services similar to those offered by undisturbed coastlines. As a result, CMI are often considered as sacrificed zones with no environmental value. Studies show that marine flora and fauna on CMI, is typically less diverse than natural assemblages, and is commonly dominated by nuisance and invasive species. Here we summarize the results of a 24 month monitoring study of a breakwater section (Haifa, Israel) composed of armor unites cast from a proprietary concrete mix with an ecological design (ECOncrete® Antifers - EA). The study compared benthic community structure (fish, invertebrates and algae), species richness, live cover, diversity and the ratio of invasive to local species, on EA to that of an adjacent breakwater section made of standard Antifers (SA) composed of Portland based concrete. The abundance, richness and diversity of invertebrates and fish were higher on and around the EA compared to SA, while the ratio of invasive to local species was considerably lower. Moreover, engineering species such as oysters, serpulid worms, bryozoans and coralline algae were more dominant on the EA than on the SA. These ecosystem engineers increase the complexity of the structure, by means of biogenic buildup, which increase the availability of food and shelter in the area, while potentially contributing to the structures stability and longevity via bioprotection. The study indicates the ability of design substrate alterations to facilitate competition for space between local and invasive species on CMI, and demonstrates the feasibility of applying environmentally sensitive technologies for enhancing the biological and ecological performance of structures like breakwaters, piers, and seawalls. Ecological enhancement of concrete based CMI increases the ecosystem services provided by the structure, without hampering its structural performance, and thus should be integrated into future coastal development projects, preferably and most efficiently from early planning stages. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Perkol-Finkel S.,ECOncrete | Sella I.,ECOncrete
Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters 2013: From Sea to Shore - Meeting the Challenges of the Sea | Year: 2014

This paper presents results from a year-long experimental study, evaluating the performance of ecologically active concrete matrices and designs for coastal and marine construction. Results indicate that slight modifications of concrete composition and surface texture can improve the capabilities of concrete based coastal and marine infrastructure (CMI) to support enhanced marine fauna and flora, and provide valuable ecosystem services alongside with economic advantages such as elevated water quality, increased operational life span, structural stability, and absorption of hydrodynamic forces. © Thomas Telford Limited 2014.


Perkol-Finkel S.,ECOncrete | Sella I.,ECOncrete
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Maritime Engineering | Year: 2015

Owing to a combination of increase in coastal population and processes related to global climate change, intense coastal development is inevitable. Shallow-water habitats are prone to be replaced by structures such as seawalls and breakwaters. While adding ample hard substrate to the seascape, these structures are not surrogates to natural habitats, and are often associated with nuisance and invasive species. These differences are attributed to design features including high inclination, low complexity and high homogeneity - all atypical of natural habitats. To date, coastal infrastructure has been designed with limited consideration to marine life developing on it. Consequently, its ability to provide ecosystem services similar to those offered by natural habitats has been severely compromised. This paper presents two case studies implementing ecological enhancement at the Brooklyn Bride Park waterfront. Both strategies are examples for restoring viable ecosystem services while also serving structural and societal goals. The first is an example of structural repairs of aging pier piles, by applying innovative technology of ecological concrete encasement which creates valuable habitat. The second is an example of boosting the ecological performance of a constructed riprap waterfront, by integrating precast tide-pools that add water-retaining habitat features lacking from standard coastal infrastructure. © 2015, ICE Publishing. All rights reserved.


Trademark
ECOncrete | Date: 2014-02-25

Concrete; precast concrete products, namely, beams, pillars, piles, walls, sea walls, tiles, tide pools, and armoring units in the nature of concrete blocks for coastal defense and bank stabilization. Engineering, development, and design in the field of customized concrete and precast concrete products; consulting services, namely, materials testing consultation, product development consultation, and ecological consultation in the nature of engineering of products to preserve aquatic eco-systems, in the field of customized concrete and precast concrete products.


Patent
ECOncrete | Date: 2014-02-13

The invention provides a marine infrastructure comprising a concrete matrix having a pH of less than 12 for use in promoting the growth of fauna and flora in aquatic environment, and methods for promoting the growth of fauna and flora in aquatic environment, including endolitic and epilitic flora and endolitic and epilitic anaerobic and aerobic flora and fauna.


ECOncretetechnology provides sustainable solutions for construction of ecologically active infrastructure, in the coastal and marine environment as well as other urban landscapes. The Company develops, produces and supports implementation of innovative concrete products designed for enhancing the biological and ecological value of coastal and marine infrastructure ...


ECOncrete | Entity website

ECOncrete's innovative technology consists of proprietary concrete matrices, forms and form-liners designed as components of marine and coastal infrastructure, which induce formation of bio-habitats, while preserving their functional and structural properties. All ECOncretemixtures are routinely tested in our laboratories for sand and aggregate, cement and concrete properties following the ASTM and EN standards ...


News Article | April 10, 2014
Site: www.theepochtimes.com

NEW YORK—An Israeli company specialized in ecologically friendly solutions for coastal and marine infrastructure is making its mark on New York City. Tel Aviv-based ECOncrete is engaged in two waterfront projects in Brooklyn Bridge Park that will have a long-lasting impact on the health and stability of the marine life in the area. “It has been a really fruitful collaboration,” said ECOncrete founder Dr. Ido Sella of working with the park. Sella was in town last week and showed off the company’s newly installed man-made tide pools along the park’s coast. The man-made contraptions mimic nature with ecologically friendly material molded into grooves to create the nooks and crannies that marine life of all kinds love to burrow into. A specialized filtration system also prevents debris, oil, and other foreign elements from entering the tide pool waters. The result is a clean, sparkling mini-marine habitat amid a constructed beach of granite stones. It keeps the environs beautiful and creates a space for the study of marine life. “This has sitting water that becomes aerated with new water every day,” said Sella, a marine biologist. “You don’t have that with constructed beach.” Designed so they can be placed easily into a built environment, the park’s seven tide pools span a small stretch of shoreline between Pier 3 and Pier 4. Three more will be installed on Habitat Island, a small nature preserve just off the coast that will not be publicly accessible. It’s not the first time that ECOncrete has worked in the park. Last year, they installed their material as specialty concrete wrap casings around pier pilings that both support the piles and the piers. As marine life such as barnacles gradually build up a presence and thrive, it can also make the pilings stronger by acting like a biological “glue.” The approach is in lieu of the more traditional option of encasing pilings that are decomposing or being eaten away by marine life with smooth concrete or fiberglass. That practice actually tends to introduce invasive species and decreases the health of the marine environment. It was the first time it had ever been done. As ECOncrete CEO Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel sees it, her company’s approach is helping to tilt the ratio between local and invasive species. “We did change a very old-fashioned way of reinforcing piles,” said Perkol-Finkel last week while touring her company’s handiwork in Brooklyn Bridge Park. In September 2013, Perkol-Finkel and Sella went on a dive to inspect the progress of the pilot program pier pilings at the park’s Pier 6. They found they were thriving with a variety of marine life, including crabs. Elsewhere in New York City ECOncrete has a presence, both in reality and in theory, with projects at Governors Island and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. They are also part of a team in the national Rebuild By Design competition. Rebuild By Design is a federally funded competition in the Sandy-affected region to find financially and logistically feasible projects from among 10 interdisciplinary design teams. The key goal of the elite project is to find innovative solutions to rebuild and protect the environment and its inhabitants. ECOncrete is part of the SCAPE / Landscape Architecture team, whose Living Breakwaters project would “reduce risk, revive ecologies, and connect educators to the shoreline,” according to the team’s description. The breakwater units portion of the design would be made of ECOncrete. The 10 final Rebuild By Design projects were presented last weekend to the federal government. An undisclosed number of projects will be selected and funded. If ECOncrete’s team is selected, it won’t be the first type of large-scale project they’ve done. In 2012, about 40 tons of ECOncrete ecological armoring units were deployed in the waters off Haifa, one of Israel’s major port cities. That same year, the company also installed fish-friendly ECOncrete panels at the Port of Savannah. In 2011, the company’s product was chosen as one of the 10 winning solutions of the Savannah Ocean Exchange. If its success in New York City is any indication, the company has a long future ahead of it. Leigh Trucks, director of capital projects at Brooklyn Bridge Park, said she “loves” working with the ECOncrete team. “Success is not only the ecological success but also the success in changing the way things are done,” said Trucks. “It’s a really rare thing where they know the science and have taken the next step into implementation.”

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