Trials and Tribulations of Marine Contracting
Originally, marine construction centered mainly around dockyards, piers and ports at the turn of the 20th century. In the United Kingdom, coastal protection came to fruition under unfortunate circumstances - the 1953 flood - in which a large storm surge combined with a high spring tide collectively increased the mean sea level by 5.6 meters. Since then, development, research and industry knowledge have increased exponentially, creating a highly efficient and effective marine and coastal construction sector. However, it remains an area of the construction industry that is still in its infancy and extremely unique, due to the involvement of working within an uncertain environment – the sea, tide and coastal processes.
Ecocoast works within all areas of this uncertain environment. Hard structures such as, concrete quay walls, slipways and piling for pontoon systems help bring industrial and commercial marine acquisitions to life, and so do private clients to establish or reinforce their link with the sea. Soft structures such as, geosynthetics or geobags that can blend into their surroundings, provide beach protection to hotels or properties in case of storm conditions.
Within all of these installations, marine specific project management, skills and knowledge are key to ensure the success of the project. Many structures are built within the tidal zone, which leads to the necessity of working tidal shifts to make effective use of each day. Without this type of design, the majority of marine structures would not survive their first Shamal.
Even with a full collection of marine skills and knowledge, the sea is still uncertain and brings surprises. The Arabian Gulf is relatively stable in comparison to other areas of the world. However, storms can still be underestimated and seas that are flat calm in normal conditions can easily become large and destructive, depending on the wind direction and speed. Also the beach beneath the wave is an ever-changing environment, in which beach profile can evolve dramatically through a storm event.
Ecocoast has overcome many challenges whilst on-site through the construction stage over the years, but is always ready to provide quick and innovative solutions for its clients to answer their specific needs.
Written by Matthew Sheppard, Project Engineer