The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 213 [Completed (IDEA)]

SEAHIVE – Sustainable Estuarine and Marine Revetment

  Project Data
Funds: $119,174
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: University of Miami
Principal Investigator: Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos
Fiscal Year: 2018

·       Storm surge and wave action induce destructive forces to coastal communities that can result in loss of life, shoreline erosion, as well as structural damages to the built environment and infrastructure such as the transportation network. Therefore, this project focused on the research and development of a novel efficient and ecofriendly revetment system, called SEAHIVE, through physical testing at the University of Miami Surge STructure Atmospheric INteraction (SUSTAIN) Facility. SEAHIVE prototype elements of the three different cross-sectional profiles (square, circular and hexagonal) with varying perforation configurations were fabricated and tested experimentally at the SUSTAIN Facility under different water/waves conditions. Considering the interlocking of hexagonal units and that they maximize the volume for a given amount of material similar to a beehive, hexagonal units were selected for the system design. System-design testing focused on the hydrodynamic performance of a cluster of hexagonal SEAHIVE units starting with the testing of a vertical SEAHIVE wall section in the SUSTAIN wind/wave tank. The performance was evaluated on the basis of the water-level measurements with the comparison of the reflection coefficient between the SEAHIVE model and a solid vertical wall model revealing that the SEAHIVE model decreases significantly wave reflection while also dissipating more energy. Tests conducted on horizontal SEAHIVE system configurations revealed that the system performs also well in other contexts from riprap to submerged breakwater/reef applications. Three pilot installations were thus secured in Southeast Florida. The first one is a riprap installation in collaboration with the City of North Bay Village. The second one is in partnership with the City of Miami Beach and in the context of a University of Miami Laboratory for INtegrative Knowledge (U-LINK) project where SEAHIVE will be used as a hybrid coral reef. The third application is a seawall/mangrove planter in collaboration with Shipwreck Park (a non-profit organization), the City of Pompano Beach, and Broward County. All installations are underway and will be monitored to assess the ecological and engineering performance of the system, as well as to acquire important techno-economic data for further developments. Considering its better performance, its adaptive features for various applications and topography, as well as its potential for habitat creation provided by its structural complexity and the use of biophilic concrete mixtures and non-corrosive reinforcements, the SEAHIVE system provides an efficient eco-engineering alternative for the protection of the transportation network and the built environment in coastal communities. With the cost of coastal protection in the United States projected to skyrocket to $400 billion by 2040 according to the Center for Climate Integrity, the SEAHIVE system presents thus a great payoff potential.

     The final report is available. 

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