CASE STUDY: COASTAL PROTECTION ON SAADIYAT ISLAND USING GEOSYNTHETIC CONTAINERS
Ecocoast shares a case study about how it carried out coastal protection on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi using geosynthetic containers to prevent erosion damage.
During construction works on Saadiyat Island, the project team found that the reclaimed land faced the threat of erosion during high tides and extreme weather conditions, leaving the slope unprotected and exposed to strong waves. Therefore, the client called on Ecocoast to resolve the problem, requesting a temporary, preventive solution that would stop further erosion and protect the villas.
Prior to proposing a solution, the Ecocoast team carried out an extensive survey of the location and found that installation would be a challenge as conditions constantly shifted from wet to dry, based on water levels.
Furthermore, the team needed to incorporate the existing structure into its design of the revetment and therefore collaborated with an external consultant to verify the structural stability of the revetment. However, Ecocoast was ultimately responsible for the design, supply and supervision of the project.
The team decided that the ideal solution for the temporary revetment was to use geosynthetic tubes for its construction, while also keeping in mind that the tubes needed to be robust enough to withstand the constantly shifting conditions, as well as exposure to direct sunlight – particularly in high-temperature months.
The solution proposed by the Ecocoast team involved the use of geosynthetic containers (GSCs) to build a revetment to stop the erosion of the slope. The solution consisted of three layers of 8m circumference tubes and scour tubes to protect the revetment.
Geosynthetic containers are three-dimensional systems, manufactured from geotextile materials filled with sand. They require an engineered approach. GSCs are regarded as innovative, economic and environmentally friendly systems. They have the added benefit of enhancing marine habitats.
The containers come in varying sizes. The weight provides stability and projects have been designed and constructed in high wave energy coastal areas with waves over 12 meters.
Moreover, for the Saadiyat Island project, the tubes were installed on a layer of geotextile, so as to provide an extra element of protection against erosion by preventing the free flow of water.
The revetment was designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, with a return period of 10-years. Some of the key design criteria checked included global stability and wave overtopping. This was to ensure that the revetment performed as designed under all environmental conditions.
During the installation process, the tubes were put in place during wet conditions, with the first layer of tubes and scour protection installed in a trench that was lined with geotextile. Once in place, the trench was then backfilled and compacted, in order to install the second layer. This process was repeated until the revetment was complete.
While this has been a temporary solution, the client has found that the Ecotubes used have managed to last without damage since 2019, despite operating in exposed conditions.
Ecocoast is one of the few companies in the world to specialise in the design and construction of coastal protection systems using geosynthetic containers. In the UAE, Ecocoast was responsible for the first sand-filled mega container installation back in 2007.
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